Catches win matches in cricket.
Fielding is the most decisive factor in cricket. Even the mightiest bowlers require the support of fielders to create a breakthrough. Blocking a single can also change the scenario of a match.
The dropped catch of Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa made Australia win the World Cup 1999. An outstanding throw from Martin Guptill to dismiss MS Dhoni in the world cup 2019 pulled away India from the tournament.
Many instances proved fielding is as crucial as bowling and batting in cricket. And, catching is an integral part of any fielder’s job.
Here, in this article, we will see the top 10 fielders in all formats of the game, who have picked the most number of catches.
Note: We have not included wicket-keeping records here. You can check the statistical comparison of the top wicket-keepers here.
Now, let’s start with the catching records in ODIs.
Most Catches in ODI by a Fielder
|M Jayawardene (SL)||443||218||0.492|
|R Ponting (AUS)||372||160||0.430|
|M Azharuddin (IND)||332||156||0.469|
|V Kohli (IND)||277||144||0.519|
|R Taylor (NZ)||232||142||0.61|
|S Tendulkar (IND)||456||140||0.307|
|S Fleming (NZ)||276||133||0.481|
|J Kallis (SA)||324||131||0.404|
|Younis Khan (PAK)||257||130||0.505|
|M Muralitharan (SL)||347||130||0.374|
- Mahela Jayawardene, the former Sri Lankan cricketer, who has taken the most catches in ODI as a fielder, is also the only player to have picked more than 200 catches in ODIs.
- Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, is the latest entrant to this top 10 list.
- Ross Taylor, among this list, has the highest catches per innings ratio – 0.609, followed by Virat at 0.520.
- Among the current cricketers, nobody else has picked 100+ catches yet in ODIs. Martin Guptill (91), Eoin Morgan (80), Rohit Sharma (77), and Joe Root (74) are the only others to have 70+ ODI fielding catches from the current lot.
- Jonty Rhodes of South Africa holds the record for the maximum number of catches taken in a single ODI innings – 5. And, 44 others have taken 4 catches in an ODI. You can check them all here.
- The Sri Lankan bowler-fielder duo, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene are the most successful combination to have a maximum number of ‘Caught dismissals’ in ODIs between them – 28. The complete list here.
- Among the current pairs, Bangladesh’s Mashrafe Mortaza & Mahmudullah (22) and India’s Ravindra Jadeja & Virat Kohli (16) top the list.
- In ODI world cups, the former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, leads the chart with 25 catches as a fielder.
Most Catches in Test Cricket by a Fielder
|R Dravid (IND)||301||210||0.697|
|M Jayawardene (SL)||270||205||0.759|
|J Kallis (SA)||315||200||0.634|
|R Ponting (AUS)||328||196||0.597|
|M Waugh (AUS)||245||181||0.738|
|A Cook (ENG)||300||175||0.583|
|S Fleming (NZ)||199||171||0.859|
|G Smith (SA)||225||169||0.751|
|B Lara (WI)||241||164||0.680|
|M Taylor (AUS)||197||157||0.796|
- Rahul Dravid leads the chart with the most number of catches by a fielder in Test cricket. The former Indian cricketer has always been known for his slip catches. Dravid, who has been used as the occasional wicket-keeper in ODIs by the Indian team, didn’t keep wickets in the longest format. So all his 210 catches came as a fielder.
- John Wright, former Indian cricket team coach, told this on Dravid:
“I struggle to remember Rahul Dravid dropping a catch. It was very obvious Rahul had the temperament, technique and desire to stand at first slip. His strengths: great concentration, the most beautiful soft hands and a naturally great technique. And he worked very hard. I would hit him many catches and I never grew tired of watching him catch. All the great slip catchers have this softness in the way they catch and Rahul was the same. Their hands almost hang from their shoulders.”
John Wright, former Indian cricket team coach
- If you closely look at this table above, almost every fielder in this chart is a slip fielder.
- Along with Dravid, Jayawardene and Jacques Kallis are the only other fielders to have 200+ Test catches as fielders. Ricky Ponting came a little close only to end his career at 196 Test catches.
- Once again, the Sri Lankan pair Muralitharan-Jayawardene leads as the most successful bowler-fielder combination in Tests by picking up 77 caught wickets among them. Among the current cricketers, Australia’s Lyon-Smith and India’s Ashwin-Rahane are the two pairs to have 25+ wickets among them by catches.
- Among the current cricketers, Ross Taylor, Steve Smith, and Joe Root are the only players to have 100+ Test catches.
- Most catches in a single Test innings is 5 and is achieved by few players. You can find the list here.
- Most catches in a single Test match is 8 and is achieved by Ajinkya Rahane of India, playing against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka, on 12 August 2015.
- Most catches in a Test series is 15 catches by John Gregory of Australia in a 5-match Test series against England in 1920-21. KL Rahul of India came so close to this by picking up 14 catches in the 2018 England tour.
- Bob Simpson (Australia) is the fastest to hold onto 100 Test catches as a fielder (54 Tests), followed by Ross Taylor (60 Tests). Simpson also has the most number of Test catches in the first 60 Tests by any cricketer. You can check the catchers listed in the quickest order here.
- Sachin Tendulkar is the slowest in Test matches to pick 100 catches. He had to wait till his 154th Test to reach the 100 mark.
- The first specialist fielder to 100 Test catches was Wally Hammond. He reached the mark in 1939.
- Viv Richards took his 100th catch of his career in exactly 100 Tests
- Graeme Smith (South Africa), who ranks 8th in this chart, is applauded for his least drop percentage among all the cricketers who have played for a long period in this article, which talks about dropped catches. It looks like the South African former captain has missed only 14% of catches that came along his way.
Most Catches in T20 Internationals by a Fielder
Most Catches by a fielder in T20I cricket
|D Miller (SA)||113||76||0.673|
|M Guptill (NZ)||121||68||0.562|
|George Dockrell (IRE)||122||61||0.5|
|Rohit Sharma (IND)||148||58||0.392|
|D Warner (AUS)||99||56||0.566|
|M Nabi (AFG)||109||56||0.513|
|T Southee (NZ)||113||57||0.504|
|A Finch (AUS)||102||50||0.490|
|V Kohli (IND)||114||50||0.439|
|S Malik (PAK)||124||50||0.403|
- David Miller, who leads this chart as the leading catcher in the T20 Internationals, is also the quickest (72 Inns) to the 50 catches mark in T20I as a fielder.
- It looks like he will stay there for a while as his close followers have already crossed the 72 innings mark.
- Few players have taken 4 catches in a T20I innings, which is so far the maximum number of catches taken in a T20I match. You can check them all here.
- Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina are the most successful bowler-fielder combination in T20Is, as the pair has completed 10 catches. Check the list here.
Most Catches in All Formats of Cricket
|M Jayawardene (SL)||768||440||0.572|
|R Ponting (AUS)||717||364||0.507|
|R Taylor (NZ)||546||351||0.642|
|J Kallis (SA)||664||338||0.509|
|R Dravid (IND)||571||334||0.584|
|S Fleming (NZ)||480||306||0.637|
|V Kohli (IND)||604||304||0.503|
|G Smith (SA)||454||292||0.643|
|M Waugh (AUS)||488||289||0.592|
|S Smith (AUS)||400||288||0.723|
- It is the regulars from the previous tables who decorate this overall stats table too. Mahela Jayawardene has taken the most catches in international cricket in all formats by a fielder.
- He ranks 1 in ODIs, 2 in Tests, and tops the overall chart with 440 catches in 768 international innings.
- He is also the only cricketer to have 400 international catches by any non-keeper fielder.
- He is followed by Ricky Ponting with 364 catches. The former Aussies skipper is also the leading non wicket-keeper fielder from Australia to have the maximum catches in both ODIs and Tests.
- Among the current players, Ross Taylor is the only one to be in the elite club of 300+ international cricket catches.
- Taylor is followed by Kohli, Smith, and Root, with 200+ catches in overall cricket across formats.
- Rahul Dravid holds the record for the most catches by an Indian player in all format.
For the current cricketers, it is almost a tough task to match the catching counts of the legendary cricketers who played over longer periods, as the game now has been distributed into three formats. Also, with the T20s (both international and domestic leagues) gaining significance, it has become more difficult for them to reach the former players’ mark.
If there is one record where Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, has a chance, it is the overall catches record, as he is there in the top 15 already and playing all three formats for his team. Ross Taylor, who is also there at the top 10, is almost at the end of his career.
And in Test catches count, Australia’s Steve Smith has a bright chance to enter the top five.
You can find more in-depth cricket records like this here.
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