There have been many great fielders in the history of cricket. Fielders that defied gravity to take catches that really do win matches. And while winning matches for their team and man of the match for themselves, these fielders also make for some exciting viewing. There are no words to explain how it feels to see someone who flies off into the air to take an amazing catch. No matter how many times you see the replay it’s never enough. That’s why there are hundreds of best catch compilation videos available on the net. I try to choose the best among these catches and present them here for your pleasure. To keep things a little simple I’ll be talking about only ODI catches and leaving out some great test match fielding. I’ll also be leaving out some spectacular fielding been done in T20 matches all the time now. So without any delay here are the top 10 memorable catches in ODI history.
This is a great timing catch by Yuvraj Singh. The left handed Bangladeshi opener tries to slice a wide delivery over the top of point. Unluckily for him it was Yuvraj Singh fielding at that position. He jumps straight up, stretching to the maximum and extends his left hand over his head. At the time of catching the ball he is easily 1 meter off the ground. The timing had to be perfect for this catch to stick and it was. A little earlier or a little later and he would have just gotten his fingertips to it. It was one of those catches that turn a good shot into a wicket.
This is probably the most famous catch by an Indian captain because it happened at the 1983 World Cup final. Defending a low total the Indians had bowled reasonably well when Viv Richards came in and got about his own style of batting. He would have taken West Indies all the way to victory when he hit a pull shot that got a slight top edge. Kapil Dev was at mid on and ran sideways to catch the ball just about 10 meters from the boundary. It was a great catch because of the difficulty of running backwards and also because of the occasion and the moment. Kapil Dev remained cool as ever and probably won the World Cup for India with this catch.
Brett Lee bowls so well that sometimes it is forgotten that he is a decent fielder as well. He’s one of those guys who give you full commitment no matter what. This is a catch from the early phase of his career against New Zealand. Chris Cairns tries to pull Glen McGrath and gets a top edge that loops behind above the keeper’s head. Brett Lee, who is fielding at fine leg, runs around at full speed, overshoots the ball, slips and fall but while falling he leans back and takes a wonderful catch close to the ground with his left hand. This is a great catch because most bowlers fielding at that position might not even have tried to catch it at all.
This is Yuvraj Singh showing how good a fielder he really is once again. It was Jonty Rhodes, the best fielder himself, who was batting and he tried to play his trademark sweep shot off Harbhajan Singh. He gets a top edge that hardly gets off the ground and flies right behind the keeper. Yuvraj Singh runs in from short fine leg and does a full stretch dive to his right and takes a one handed catch just inches off the ground. This is just another one of the amazing catches that Yuvraj has taken throughout his career.
Paul Collingwood is a batting all-rounder and a brilliant fielder. He has taken some brilliant catches at all positions on the field but a few of his catches at point are simple amazing and reminiscent of Jonty Rhodes. One such catch is versus Australia where Mathew Hayden cuts one off deliberately into the air over the head of point. Paul Collingwood make a high jump record and also bends backwards in mid air to take the catch up over and behind his head with both hands. Hayden’s reaction says it all about how brilliant that catch was.
Kieron Pollard had to feature in this list as well. He’s an amazing athlete and a complete cricketer. This is a recent catch versus Australia in Australia at the square leg boundary. Maxwell hits a six that Pollard turns into a wicket. The height reached by Pollard to take this catch is unbelievable and then he managed to fall inside the ropes as well. Bad luck Maxwell!
Featuring twice in the top three is the best fielder ever, Jonty Rhodes. It can’t be debated coz no one has ever come close to his level of fielding. It was not just great catches and run outs but his consistency at stopping everything hit towards him that makes him the best fielder ever. Mathew Hayden had the bad luck of getting out to another brilliant catch from a brilliant point fielder. He cuts the ball a little to the right of Jonty who was initially going left but in typical Jonty style he changes direction and jumps up and sideways to the right to take a brilliant catch.
At number two we have “The Wall”, Rahul Dravid. Dravid was a very good fielder and a very safe pair of hands but this particular catch of Moin Khan was so brilliant that even hardcore Dravid fans were surprised he managed to take that. I’m not trying to belittle Dravid, but this is a catch that no one would be expected to take. Dravid is asked to field at a strange position just in front of the square leg umpire and a little to the left. Moin Khan pulls the ball with a lot of ferocity. It is a good pull shot that should go for a four but Dravid is standing at such close range that the ball gets to him while still in the air. It happens too quickly and the ball is too far towards the right of Dravid. If he had just stood there and watched it go, no one would have said that he missed a catch. But Dravid showed brilliant reactions and dived to his right to take a brilliant one handed catch. It is among the greatest catch ever because it wasn’t a catch at all. This is the best example of catches winning matches.
The number one position could easily have been given to that Rahul Dravid catch but it just didn’t seem fair to displace the kind of good fielding, Jonty Rhodes. This is one of the most memorable catches from my childhood. It’s in the 99 World Cup against England. Robert Croft tries to hit one up and over the point fielder. Jonty Rhodes jumps up higher than any other catch on this list and realizes that he won’t be able to catch it so he palms the ball like a goal keeper. The ball loops over him and starts falling behind him. He turns in mid air and catches the ball. Simply the best whenever talking about memorable catches in the history of cricket.