Great fielding is an outstanding sight to watch. Today we rank the top 20 best fielders in the world of cricket of all time.
The fielding aspect of cricket remained underrated for quite a long time.
A player had to be well skilled either with the bat or with the ball to be in the team. But the dynamics started to change as the game evolved.
Fielding has almost become a must these days. That has also led to the improvement in the fitness level of players. We can see the brilliance of fielders in the game more often now.
Fielding is not just catching or stopping the ball. It’s much more than that.
It includes protecting the field across various parts of the ground like infield, outfield, across slips, and short leg positions. It includes the athleticism of the fielders.
This list consists of the fielders who have been exceptional during their time and helped their team by saving some runs or taking some catches. Read on to find our top 20 best fielders in the world of cricket.
The Top 20 Best Fielders in the World of Cricket
Here’s the list of the top 20 best fielders in the world of cricket with their total number of catches:
|6||Faf Du Plessis||167|
|4||Ab De Villiers||463|
20. Eknath Solkar
Kicking off our list of the best fielders in the world of all time is Eknath Solkar. Eknath used to be a great fielder during his time. He’s regarded by many as one of the best fielders in the short leg region.
At a time when fielding wasn’t an essential skill to be in the team, he used to provide his extra bit in the field.
He was said to be too sharp in the field. Especially in the short leg and forward short leg region, he used to be a very good catcher of the cricket ball.
Not many during his time could do what he was able to do in the field.
|Catches in tests||53|
|Catches in ODIs||2|
|Catches in T20is||–|
His best performance in the field came when India toured England for a Test series in 1971.
In the second innings of the test, India bowled out England for just 101 and went on to win the match and the first-ever series in England.
He took two important yet sensational catches to get rid of Keith Fletcher and Alan Knott of England. Both were tough catches but Eknath made it look easy with his incredible catching.
He didn’t play much in the international arena. But with whatever opportunity he got, he was always at his best in the field and gave away nothing easy for the opposition.
In a career of 34 matches, he took 55 catches. Out of those 55, 53 came in Tests while 2 of them came in ODIs.
19. Garry Sobers
Arguably the greatest all-rounder of all time, he was equally good with the bat, with the ball, and in the field. Sobers was simply exceptional as a batsman and one of the greatest fielder to come from West-Indies.
But his fielding aspect of the game is quite underrated for what he brought to the game with his other abilities.
He was fit, athletic, and too accurate in catching. He was a rare cricketer of his time who could catch the cricket ball as he did.
|Catches in Tests||109|
|Catches in ODIs||1|
|Catches in T20is||–|
His best in the field probably came in the year 1960 when England had toured to the West Indies. It was the fifth test at Port Of Spain. England opts to bat first on a flat wicket.
Garry Sobers not only took 3 wickets with the ball but also claimed 4 stunning catches, including two caught and bowled.
He later took one more catch in the second innings and finished with a total of 5 catches in the match.
He was very good in the short leg, forward short leg, gully, and leg gully regions. At times, he could take catches that were almost impossible to take. He was a total gun fielder.
He played a good number of Tests. But by the time ODIs arrived, his time was almost up. He took 110 catches in 94 international matches, of which 109 came in Tests alone.
18. Jacques Kallis
One of the best slip catchers in the history of cricket, Jacques Kallis is next up on our list of the best fielders in the world of cricket. He had the reputation of catching everything he got. As good as he was with the bat, he was equally good in the field.
His best in the field probably came in Newlands in the year 2012 when Sri Lanka had toured South Africa for a Test series.
He took a total of six catches in the match, which is the third-highest for a fielder in a match.
In the first innings, he took the catches of Mahela Jayawardene and Thilana Samaraweera. In the second innings, he took the catches of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, and Rangana Herath.
|Catches in Tests||200|
|Catches in ODIs||131|
|Catches in T20is||7|
He was too safe a fielder. He’s mainly known for his slip catching. As a fielder, he has the third-most catches in Tests at slips.
In ODIs, he has the eighth-most catches. He could also field well in the infield and save a lot of runs.
He played a decent number of Tests and ODIs. He didn’t play much of T20is. He took 338 catches in 519 international matches. He’d be remembered forever for his slip catching.
17. Rahul Dravid
Dravid was a very successful slip fielder in Tests and could also keep wickets if required. He was a very safe fielder in the infield and often used to make tough catches in the slip cordon.
His 26 catches in the calendar year 2004 is the fifth most for a fielder in Tests.
His 55 catches off Anil Kumble’s bowling and 51 catches off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling are the second and fourth best bowler-fielder dismissal combination in Tests respectively.
|Catches in Tests||210|
|Catches in ODIs||196|
|Catches in T20is||0|
Between 1996-2001, he also took 15 catches off Venkatesh Prasad’s bowling , which is one of the best for a bowler-fielder combination in ODIs.
His 4 catches in a match against West Indies in 1999 is the second best in ODIs.
He was a decent keeper as well. India had decided to play an extra batsman to get a good team combination in ODIs.
Rahul Dravid became a keeper so that India could get the combination right. In a brief period, he did a decent job.
He was a good fielder in the infield in ODIs and in Tests, he was an exceptional slip fielder. His 210 catches in Tests are the highest ever for a fielder. He hardly used to drop catches in slip cordon.
He took 210 catches in 164 Tests and 196 catches in 318 ODIs (124 as a fielder). He would be remembered for his slip-fielding.
Read More: The 15 Best ODI Batsmen of All Time
16. Mark Waugh
One of the best fielders in the slip cordon and in the infield. He had the reputation of taking the toughest catches with ease.
He was one of the main reasons for the success of Australia as a fielding unit during his time.catching in Tests.
|Catches in Tests||181|
|Catches in ODIs||108|
|Catches in T20is||–|
His best performance in the field probably came in the Chennai Test of 2001. Though Australia lost the Test, he contributed well to the team with his amazing fielding efforts.
He took a total of 6 catches in the match, which is the second most for a fielder in a Test.
In the first innings of the match, he took the catches of Vvs Laxman and Harbhajan Singh. In the second innings, he took the catches of Vvs Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Zaheer Khan. His catch to dismiss Laxman was particularly good. It was a brilliant effort.
He had very fast reflexes and could react too quickly. His 26 catches in the calendar year 1999 are the fifth most for a fielder in Tests.
His 39 catches off Shane Warne’s bowling is the fifth-best bowler-fielder dismissal combination in Tests.
He is considered by many as the greatest slip fielder of all time. He took 181 catches in 128 Tests and 108 catches in 244 ODIs. He would be remembered as one of the finest slip fielders in the history of cricket.
15. Viv Richards
Apart from being one of the greatest batsmen of all time, Sir Viv Richards is also one of the best fielders in the history of cricket. He too was one of the best fielders in the slip cordon and in the infield. His batting sort of overshadowed his skills as a fielder.
Viv Richards used to take the toughest of catches in the slip cordon. Not many could take the tough catches as he did.
His best performance in the field probably came in the 1975 world cup final. He didn’t have a great day with the bat. But helped his team with his brilliant effort in the field, defending a total of 292.
|Catches in Tests||122|
|Catches in ODIs||100|
|Catches in t20is||–|
He ran out Alan Turner, Ian Chappell, and Greg Chappell to hand big blows to the Australian team on the day of the final. As a result, Australia lost their star batsmen and failed to chase the total.
His 4 catches in an innings against India in 1989 are the joint second-highest for a fielder in Tests.
Sir Richards was also a very good catcher of his own bowling. His 13 caught and bowled dismissals in international cricket is the tenth best for a bowler.
He could take tough catches in slips, in the infield, and be electric in the field. He took 122 catches in 121 Tests and 100 catches in 187 ODIs. A remarkable fielder in cricket history.
14. Martin Guptill
One of the most versatile fielders, Guptill can save runs in the slip cordon, in the outfield, and in the infield. He can take blinders near the boundary ropes and is renowned to be one of the best catchers in cricket.
His best performance in the field probably came in the 2019 cricket world cup. Especially in the semifinal and final, he was outstanding.
His runout to dismiss Ms Dhoni was the final nail in the coffin as New Zealand made it to their second consecutive world cup final.
|Catches in Tests||50|
|Catches in ODIs||93|
|Catches in T20is||58|
He also took stunning catches of Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, and so on throughout the tournament and turned out to be one of the best fielders in the tournament.
In many other instances, he has taken some stunning catches to turn the matches.
His 4 catches in an ODI against Pakistan at Eden Park in 2016 is the joint second-highest for a fielder. His 3 catches in a T20i against Zimbabwe at Eden Park in 2012 is the joint second-highest for a fielder.
He could take tough catches in the slip cordon, in the outfield, and in the infield with ease. He has taken 50 catches in 47 Tests, 93 catches in 183 ODIs and 58 catches in 98 T20is so far in his career. He’s one of the best fielders in New Zealand.
13. Glenn Maxwell
One of the most brilliant fielders of all time, Maxwell takes the 13th spot on our list of the best fielders of all time. He can field in the infield and the outfield really well.
Maxwell can take catches near the boundary ropes effectively. He’s well known for taking the toughest of catches pretty comfortably.
His best performance in the field probably came in an ODI against England in Sydney in 2015. He helped his team’s cause by taking four crucial catches throughout the match.
|Catches in Tests||5|
|Catches in ODIs||72|
|Catches in T20is||35|
He took the catches of Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, and Chris Jordan and helped Australia to dismiss England for 234. Australia later won the match pretty easily.
His 4 catches in the ODI against England in Sydney in 2015 are the second-highest for a fielder in an ODI.
He’s well known in the cricket fraternity for taking stunning catches in the field, especially the tougher ones near the boundary ropes.
He has taken 5 catches in 14 Tests, 72 catches in 106 ODIs and 35 catches in 65 T20is in his career so far. He’s easily one of the best fielders currently in cricket.
12. Kieron Pollard
Pollard is one of the best fielders in the world right now. He’s tall and he can take catches near the boundary ropes for fun. He’s equally good in the infield and in the outfield, which shows his versatility.x`
Probably his best performance as a fielder came in an ODI against Australia in Canberra in 2013. It was the third ODI of the series and Australia won the match. But Pollard had a field day with a total of 4 catches.
He took the catches of Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, George Bailey, and Glenn Maxwell. All were important wickets in the context of the match. He also took a catch off his own bowling.
|Catches in Tests||–|
|Catches in ODIs||62|
|Catches in T20is||38|
Some of his best catches have come in T20 leagues under pressure moments which changed the games at times. His 4 catches in 2013 against Australia are the joint second-most in an ODI.
He hasn’t played a Test yet but is a very good fielder in limited-overs cricket. He has taken 62 catches in 119 ODIs and 38 catches in 88 T20is so far in his career.
He’s indeed one of the best fielders in cricket currently.
11. Dwayne Bravo
No list of the best fielders in the world is complete without Bravo. Bravo’s well known for taking stunning catches near the boundary ropes. But he can also save some runs and take tough catches in the infield.
Most of his great catches have come in T20 leagues across the world. But a remarkable performance in the field came recently in the ongoing year against Australia in St Lucia where he took 3 catches in a T20i.
Defending a total of just about 146, West Indies needed some brilliance in the field to seal the game.
|Catches in Tests||41|
|Catches in ODIs||73|
|Catches in T20is||44|
Bravo provided the much-needed spark by taking catches of Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques, and Dan Christian as West Indies won the game by 18 runs.
His 3 catches against Australia in the T20i is the joint second-highest for a fielder in a T20i match. His 4 caught and bowled dismissals in T20is are the fourth-highest for a bowler.
With his fielding efforts, he can change the tide of a match. That makes him a special fielder. He has taken 41 catches in 40 Tests, 73 catches in 164 Odis, and 44 catches in 86 T20is so far in his career. He’s certainly one of the best fielders in cricket currently.
10. Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj was one of the best fielders in cricket during his time. He was very good in the infield, in the outfield, and in the slip cordon too. But he’s well remembered for his amazing fielding skills in the infield region.
His best performance in the field probably came against South Africa in an ODI in Johannesburg in the year 2011.
It was the second ODI of the series and India was defending a small total of 191.
|Catches in Tests||31|
|Catches in ODIs||94|
|Catches in T20is||12|
The game was slipping away from India when South Africa needed just 17 runs in the last 12 overs. That’s when Yuvraj helped in inflicting a run-out to dismiss Dale Steyn.
Further, when just 2 runs were needed, he took an incredible catch to dismiss Wayne Parnell as India won the match by a solitary run.
He was famous for his fielding in the infield. He often used to save a lot of runs in the covers and point region.
Yuvraj used to take some blinders as well that could change the match. He could catch well in the slip cordon too.
He would be remembered for his fielding in the infield region. He took 31 catches in 40 Tests, 94 catches in 304 ODIs, and 12 catches in 58 T20is. He was truly a sensational fielder.
9. Paul Collingwood
One of the most athletic, energetic, and fantastic fielders in the history of cricket.
Collingwood could take blinders in the slip cordon, in the infield, and in the outfield. He often used to take catches that were almost impossible to catch.
His best performance in the field probably came against South Africa in Centurion in the year 2009. It was the first Test of the series and Collingwood took 4 catches in the first innings.
|Catches in Tests||95|
|Catches in ODIs||108|
|Catches in T20is||15|
He took the catches of Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, and Jean-Paul Duminy in the first innings. His 4 catches in the Test are joint second-highest for a fielder in a Test.
He’s considered to be one of the greatest fielders of all time. He could take stunning catches quite easily and made fielding look easy. He had the natural ability to take the toughest of catches.
He would be remembered for his special skill of making tough catches. He took 95 catches in 68 Tests, 108 catches in 195 ODIs, and 15 catches in 36 T20is. He’s arguably one of the best fielders in the world of all time.
8. Herschelle Gibbs
Another fielder who could take stunning catches in the infield, in the slip cordon, and in the outfield was South-African veteran, Herscelle Gibbs. He could take catches pretty comfortably and could also save some valuable runs in every part of the ground.
His best efforts in the field probably came against West Indies in Durban in the year 1998. It was the third Test of the series. Herschelle Gibbs took four catches in the second innings of the Test.
He took the catches of Junior Murray, Brian Lara, Darren Ganga, and Franklyn Rose and helped South Africa in winning the Test.
|Catches in Tests||94|
|Catches in ODIs||108|
|Catches in T20is||08|
His 4 catches in the second innings are the second joint-most for a fielder in a Test.
He wasn’t just a good catcher of the ball but was also an incredible thrower of the ball. He could create runouts that were difficult to happen. Gibbs also has the second most catches for a fielder in an ODI and a T20i match.
As deadly a batsman he was, Gibbs was an equally great fielder. He took 94 catches in 90 Tests, 108 catches in 248 ODIs and 8 catches in 23 T20is in his career.
7. Andrew Symonds
Arguably one of the best fielders in the world of all time. He could turn the match with his fielding efforts. He was equally good in the infield region, outfield, and in the slip cordon as well.
His best effort in the field probably came against Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval in the year 2006. It was the first final of the VB series and Symonds took a total of 4 catches in the match.
He took the catches of Kumar Sangakkara, Russel Arnold, Chamara Kapugedara and Muttiah Muralitharan.
|Catches in Tests||22|
|Catches in ODIs||82|
|Catches in T20is||03|
His total of 4 catches in the match is the second-highest by a fielder in an ODI. Sadly, Australia lost the match.
Symonds was a very good catcher of his own bowling and could inflict runouts very well. His 13 caught and bowled dismissals in ODIs are the tenth most for a bowler.
His 16 catches off Nathan Bracken are the 11th best for a bowler-fielder combination in ODIs.
He could take blinders and change the match with his fielding. At times, his fielding was overlooked for what he could do with the bat. Symonds took 22 catches in 26 Tests, 82 catches in 198 ODIs, and 3 catches in 14 T20is.
6. Faf Du Plessis
South Africa has produced some of the exceptional fielders over the years and Faf Du Plessis is right at the top of the list.
He’s well known for taking tough catches near the boundary ropes, which he does pretty comfortably.
His best performance in the field probably came in the quarterfinals of the 2015 World cup against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Sri Lanka was bundled out for just 133 runs in their batting and Faf took a total of 3 catches in the match.
|Name||Faf Du Plessis|
|Catches in Tests||62|
|Catches in ODIs||81|
|Catches in T20is||24|
He helped Sri Lanka to dismiss the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, and Angelo Mathews.
All three wickets were a big blow for Sri Lanka. South Africa eventually won the match by 9 wickets and progressed to the semifinals.
He is a very versatile fielder. He can save some runs and take catches in the infield, in the outfield, and in the slip cordon. Currently, he’s one of the best fielders in the world.
He makes catches look so easy that the tough catches don’t seem tough. He has taken 62 catches in 69 Tests, 81 catches in 143 ODIs and 24 catches in 50 T20is so far in his career.
5. Mohammad Kaif
Next up on our list of best fielders in the world is our very own Mohammad Kaif. He was one of the best fielders in the world during his time. Kaif didn’t play much cricket at the international level. But he impressed everyone in the field with the minimal opportunities he got.
His best effort in the field probably came in a Test against Australia at Wankhede in 2004. It was the final Test of the series and India won a thriller by 14 runs.
Kaif contributed to India’s win with a total of 5 catches in the match.
|Catches in Tests||14|
|Catches in ODIs||55|
|Catches in T20is||–|
In the first innings, he took the catches of Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, and Jason Gillespie.
It helped India to restrict Australia to 203. All the wickets were crucial for India as it later helped India to win the match.
His 4 catches in the innings are the second most for a fielder in Tests. Kaif had also helped India to win a World cup match in 2003 against Sri Lanka at Wanderers. He took the catches of Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Prabath Nissanka, and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Kaif would always be remembered as one of the greatest fielders of all time in cricket. He took 14 catches in 13 Tests and 55 catches in 125 ODIs.
4. Ab De Villiers
ABD is a well-known figure in cricket for many. He’s a very entertaining batsman and often wins matches for his team with his batting. But he’s also one of the best fielders in the world in 2021.
His best in the field probably came in an IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bengaluru in 2018. A chase of 219 was going decently for Sunrisers Hyderabad as they were 64/1 after 7.5 overs. Alex Hales was going well with 37 of 23 balls.
|Name||Ab De Villiers|
|Catches in Tests||222|
|Catches in ODIs||176|
|Catches in T20is||65|
And then came the magical moment. Ab De near the boundary ropes took a spectacular catch that many even today describe being an inhumane act.
He jumped over 1 meter and took a stunning one-handed catch for ages.
He is a very good fielder in the infield, in the outfield, and in the slip cordon. He was a very good keeper as well. He’s still one of the best fielders in the IPL.
His 11 catches in a Test match at Wanderers in 2013 against Pakistan is the joint-most for a keeper. ABD’s 6 catches in the first innings are the second most for a keeper in an innings in Tests.
De villiers also has the tenth most catches (21) in a calendar year. It shows how good a fielder he is. He has taken 222 catches in 114 Tests, 176 catches in 228 ODIs, and 65 catches in 78 T20is.
3. Ravindra Jadeja
He’s arguably the best fielder in cricket currently. He can field well in the infield and in the outfield as well. He can inflict run-outs for fun and can take some stunning catches that can turn the match.
Jadeja’s best performance in the field probably came in the semifinals of the 2019 world cup against New Zealand in Manchester.
He had a near-perfect match for an all-rounder. He took 2 catches and inflicted an incredible runout.
|Catches in Tests||39|
|Catches in ODIs||60|
|Catches in T20is||21|
He took the catches of Kane Williamson, the captain of New Zealand, and that of Tom Latham, which were crucial at that stage.
Jaddu then dismissed Ross Taylor with an incredible direct hit from the outfield. Though India lost the match, Jadeja produced a stunning performance.
In the 2019 world cup, he had saved the second-most runs throughout the tournament by playing the least number of matches.
It looked like Jadeja was present everywhere in the field. He has some stunning fielding efforts in the multi-nation tournaments.
He’s certainly among the best fielders currently and of all time. He has taken 39 catches in 56 Tests, 60 catches in 168 ODIs and 21 catches in 50 T20is so far in his career.
2. Suresh Raina
Raina is easily one of the best fielders of all time. He was so good in the field that even the greatest fielder of all time has acknowledged him to be the best fielder. He was so athletic, energetic, and stunning in the field.
He could take the toughest of catches pretty easily. The fielding aspect of his game was absolutely incredible. He was great in the infield, in the outfield, and in the slip cordon.
|Catches in Tests||23|
|Catches in ODIs||102|
|Catches in T20is||42|
His best performance in the field probably came in the semifinals of the 2013 champions trophy against Sri Lanka in Cardiff. India restricted Sri Lanka for 181 in 50 overs and Raina contributed immensely in the field.
He saved many runs and took 3 catches. He took the catches of Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne. Sri Lanka all but almost lost the game there itself.
He was an attacking fielder in the infield. He used to give nothing away for the batsmen and never allowed them to take easy runs in the covers and point region.
Raina was also a very good thrower and could inflict run-outs very well.
Near the boundary ropes, he could take spectacular catchers and in the slip cordon, he was amazing.
Raina took 23 catches in 18 Tests, 102 catches in 226 ODIs, and 42 catches in 78 T20is. He is truly a remarkable fielder.
1. Jonty Rhodes
Unarguably the best fielders in the world of all time is Jonty Rhodes. He changed the dynamics of fielding in world cricket. He was sharp and totally accurate. Jonty Rhodes was athletic and energetic at the same time.
With his amazing fielding in the 1992 world cup, he brought a new dimension to fielding in cricket. His amazing runout to dismiss Inzamam Ul Haq was legendary. That’s probably the best effort of the man in a match.
In the year 1993, he took 5 catches in a match against West Indies at Brabourne stadium in Mumbai, which is the most number of catches in an ODI by a fielder.
|Catches in Tests||34|
|Catches in ODIs||105|
|Catches in T20is||–|
Jonty took a catch off his own bowling too. He took the catches of 5 out of 6 top-order batters, which was remarkable.
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He was a genius in producing runouts. In the covers and point region in the infield, he could produce stunning run-outs and take tough catches for fun.
It was almost suicidal for batters to steal some runs in the presence of Jonty.
He was a very good batsman but his fielding was so excellent and hence overshadowed his batting abilities. It won’t be wrong to say that he is the brand ambassador of fielding in cricket.
Jonty Rhodes didn’t play that many Tests but played a decent number of ODIs. He took 34 catches in 52 Tests and 105 catches in 245 Odis.
Best Fielders in the World: Conclusion
Some of the very best in the business had to miss out on this list. It includes the likes of Kapil Dev, David Miller, Vvs Laxman, Michael Bevan, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, and so on.
It was such a list that even the best of the fielders found it hard to make into it. The standard of the fielders has been such. They were truly some of the best the world has ever seen.
Did you liked our list of the best fielders in the world? Did we miss out on your favorite fielder of all time? Let us know by Tweeting us at @weknowcricket. Cheers!
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