Cricket Listicles

Ten Best Modern-Day Slip Fielders in Cricket

Fielding at slips is an art in cricket, as it requires a combination of sharp anticipation and agile movement with a solid catching technique. It is one of the most important fielding positions in cricket and is generally a place where the batsmen tend to get out more often, especially in Test cricket. So as a catcher in slips, apart from having a good technique, a fielder needs to have a good understanding of the game.

They need to be on their toes right through the passage of play, as the ball off the edge of the bat can come at anytime. Sometimes a brilliant piece of catching can win them the match, while there are also instances where things have gone awry for teams on occasions of a catch drop in slips. That is why slip is a specialist position, and teams will have designated players for this important wicket-taking area on a cricketing field.

So we will look at the top 10 slip fielders in the modern-day game.

Ajinkya Rahane (India)

Ajinkya Rahane is widely known as one of the best fielders in the slip position, especially in Test cricket. The former Indian vice-captain, who has also led the team on a few occasions, barely drops a catch that comes his way at the slips and is quite electric at that cordon.

He is known to pluck blinders out of thin air and make them look easy without much acrobatics. His catching can be attributed to one of the reasons for the success of both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin.

In one of the Tests against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2015, Rahane created a record of sorts by walloping 8 catches in the match, and this remains intact for most catches by a non wicket-keeper in a Test match.

Faf du Plessis (South Africa)

Known for his athleticism, the former Proteas skipper rarely has a bad day on the field and always saves some runs for his side while fielding. In short, Faf du Plessis is a live wire in the field. Not just in ground fielding, Faf also has a safe pair of hands at any given position, but more so in the slip cordon.

With bowlers such as Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, and Morne Morkel streaming in fast, a slip catcher needs to be on their toes, and Faf exactly does that with a lot of ease. He is amongst the best at that position, but given the fact he is South Africa’s best fielder, Faf fields all around the park.

Joe Root (England)

The former England captain, as we all know, is a brilliant batter and is definitely amongst the best in this generation. But we tend to move past him as being one of the best slip fielders in international cricket, where he has over 180 catches to his credit in Tests.

Just like his batting, Root possesses a solid technique as a slip catcher, and this is why the champion player has been highly successful for England.

Steve Smith (Australia)

Steve Smith is another player who is known for taking blinders in the slips, and he stands equally while fielding for both the spinners as well as the pace bowlers of Australia.

The former Aussie skipper is modern-day great with the bat in hand, but his catching abilities are second to none, and his spectacular catches have at times turned the game on its head for Australia in the past. He has taken a whopping 165+ catches in Tests, with many of them coming while standing in the slip cordon.

Also Read | In-Focus: Steve Smith Batting Technique

Dhananjaya de Silva (Sri Lanka)

Dhananjaya de Silva is one of the most underrated slip catchers in the world of cricket, and he has made that fielding position his own for Sri Lanka in all forms of the game.

He regularly stands in the slips for the Lankan lions, and as his track record suggests, he is a very safe fielder. Dhananjaya has taken over 65 catches in Tests to go with his tremendous capability, both with bat and ball.

Ben Stokes (England)

Regarded as one of the most versatile and dynamic cricketers in modern-day cricket, Ben Stokes can do almost everything on the field. He is a destructive batter on his day and has the ability to change the complexion of the game with the ball.

But one more thing that defines Stokes is his prowess as a fielder across the park. Thanks to his breathtaking athleticism and being agile always, he has taken many breathtaking catches both in the outfield as well as in the slips.

Jermaine Blackwood (West Indies)

Much like de Silva of Sri Lanka, Jermaine Blackwood is quite underrated as a slip fielder. Generally, West Indies players are known for their athleticism, and Blackwood is no different.

The current West Indies vice-captain has all the traits in the world to be a brilliant fielder, and we have to say that Blackwood is one of those safe catchers in the challenging slip position.

Virat Kohli (India)

One of the greatest batsmen of all time across formats, Virat Kohli has also carved a niche for himself as a gun fielder who can make things happen on the field. Though he fields all around the park, Kohli has found success as a slip fielder in all forms of the game.

He has taken blinders in that position, but at times, he does drop some sitters. This does take away from the fact that he is one of the most complete cricketers ever, with over 110 Test catches to his kitty.

David Warner (Australia)

David Warner is yet another player on this list who maintains high fielding standards and has made the slip position his own, especially in Test cricket, along with his compatriot Steve Smith.

He has some of the quickest reflexes for a fielder in cricket and has taken some spectacular catches that has turned the course of the match. In that way, he has added immense value to the team, not just as a game changer with the bat but also on the field over the past decade.

Tim Southee (New Zealand)

If we take note of this list, all the above players who have been successful fielding in slips are either pure batters or all-rounders, but Tim Southee comes as a surprise package. Southee is a rare fast bowler who fields in the slips and has been quite effective in doing so for the large part of his career.

Buoyed by natural athleticism, the New Zealand skipper has a quick reflex that helps him catch the ball, despite being a pacer. Generally, pacers are renowned for their fielding, but Southee is a rare cricketer in that way. He has taken over 70 catches in Tests, which is sensational for a pacer.

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