Cricket encompasses three dimensions that dictate its fate. Batting, bowling, and fielding are the 3 aspects that determine the better team on the day. Fielding is one skill that requires minimal fortune and maximum practice, unlike batting and bowling. An inspiring fielding effort lifts the morale of the bowling team. Teams stress on fielding efforts that can save them 10-20 runs on any given day. We have seen plenty of fielders who have raised the bar of fielding with their pure skill. These fielders have made the game look even better. Let’s look at Best Fielder In Cricket.
We look at a few of the Best fielders at different positions who have redefined fielding:
#1 Slip catchers
Slip catching is an often underrated aspect of fielding. But it is one of the most crucial positions in the game. Cricket has been blessed with many great slip fielders over the years. The quality of the slip cordon is directly proportional to the team’s standings in the game. West Indies dominated in the 70s and 80s and their cordon comprised Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, and Desmond Haynes. The Australian team of the 90s and early 00s were even better. Their cordon of Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, and Michael Clarke were supreme in their heydays. These bunch hardly dropped a catch.
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England’s cordon of Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Andrew Flintoff, and James Anderson was the world’s envy. South Africa and New Zealand have hardly ever dropped catches in the slips. Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, and Tim Southee all have great bucket hands. Younis Khan from Pakistan and Mahela Jayawardene from Sri Lanka were gems at slips. The trio of Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman were legendary slip fielders. They hardly dropped anything. Ajinkya Rahane is carrying forward that mantle now.
If one has to pick the greatest slip fielder of all time, Mark Waugh wins the battle. His soft hands, anticipation, and effortless catching make him the G.O.A.T at slips.
#2 Backward Point
Ricky Ponting was a fantastic fielder right through his career. He was a tiger on the prowl, especially at a backward point.
Herschelle Gibbs dominated the inner ring with his fielding brilliance. He did drop a famous catch at covers, but Gibbs was sensational in the backward point region.
Yuvraj Singh at point redefined the fielding position for India. He was safe and spectacular there.
Tilakaratne Dilshan was a gun backward point fielder. He easily saved 10-15 runs every match with his efforts.
Paul Collingwood was probably two of the best fielders to man the backward point region. He was an acrobatic genius.
Undoubtedly the greatest fielder at backward point, Jonty Rhodes made fielding look beautiful. He was once awarded the man of the match purely for his fielding efforts. The backward point region is at times referred to as the Jonty corner.
Andrew Symonds dominated the cover region with his sheer brilliance. His ability to affect direct hits were unparalleled.
Mohammad Kaif along with Yuvraj Singh were the architects behind India’s fielding revolution. He was an amazing athlete at covers.
Suresh Raina was another blazing fielder who hardly dropped catches no matter what the position. His agility and anticipation were his biggest strengths.
The game has seen many outfielders who have thrilled the viewers with their efforts. Sachin Tendulkar was a grossly underrated fielder. His bullet-throwing arm often caught the batsmen napping. Bowlers like Brett Lee, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult, and Ajit Agarkar have been great athletes. Their ability to throw themselves everywhere on the field makes them special.
Fielders like Symonds, Rhodes, Collingwood, Ponting, and Kaif were brilliant outfielders too. At the turn of the decade, the game has seen many new brilliant fielders enter the ring. The likes of Chris Jordan, Faf du Plessis, and Martin Guptill have made fielding look easy. AB de Villiers is a genius and he showcased this through his fielding as well. Kieron Pollard is a brilliant outfielder too. His ability to pick out catches from thin air is breathtaking.
But if there is one cricketer who has made fielding look special in the last few years is Ravindra Jadeja. One can just watch the game for his fielding brilliance. His arm is one to be insured. He can purely play as a fielder in any lineup. Ravindra Jadeja is undoubtedly the best fielder in the modern game.
- Robin Singh
- Michael Clarke
- Ben Stokes
- Jason Roy
- Dwayne Bravo
- Brendon McCullum
- Glenn Maxwell
- David Warner
- Hardik Pandya
- Kane Williamson
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