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    November 26, 2008

    The end of the all-round fielder?

    I am still reading Mike Brearley's excellent book "The Art of Captaincy".

    In a section on field placements, he talks about how Kapil Dev continuously used to ask India's slip fielders to stand a couple of steps closer to the batsman and reckoned that he'd missed out on quite a few wickets due to the fielders' reluctance to do so.

    Kapil was a pretty handy slip fielder himself, frequently standing at 2nd or 3rd slip. Steve Waugh writes in his autobiography about his first test innings being cut-off by a superb catch by Kapil at slip.

    But, there's more to Kapil the fielder. He was very good in the circle, whether at mid-off, cover, mid-on or mid-wicket. He was also a very good out-fielder with a very good and accurate throwing arm. Towards the end of his career, he probably pioneered the art of using the foot as a means of preventing the ball from crossing the boundary! :)

    That set me thinking about other cricketers who I'd watched and were truly all-round fielders in my opinion. There's really just one criterion - you put them anywhere on the cricket field and they've excelled.

    The only names (other than Kapil Dev) I can think of are Carl Hooper, Mark Waugh, Mohammad Azharuddin & Sanath Jayasuriya.

    I've never really seen Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting or Paul Collingwood field in the outfield, so that's why they doesn't make the list. The argument against Jonty Rhodes, Andrew Symonds, Clive Lloyd or Herschelle Gibbs inclusion is that they haven't fielded at slip too often. Sachin Tendulkar would have made the list had he not missed so many run-outs from mid-on or mid-off through the late 90s & early part of this century and not fielding at slip for nearly 7 years.

    In short, there's really no-one from the 'current' generation (despite Jayasuriya's status being unknown perhaps) who'd qualify as an all-round fielder. Actually, the fact that there're so few names in the list is probably an indicator that we may have seen the last of this ilk.

    Why's that the case when ODIs and T20 games don't really allow teams to hide fielders at 'safe' positions? So, if anything, there should be more all-round fielders now.


    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:16 AM |
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    6 sledge(s):

    I'd add Michael Clarke to that list, as he's in the slips in the test matches, when Aus is playing new age cricket ;), and also patrols the boundaries in the latter part of ODIs n T20s.

    By Blogger Raodyboy (26-Nov-2008, 11:05:00 AM)  

    yea yea, he even takes one-bounce catches at slips...

    By Blogger Ganesh (26-Nov-2008, 12:26:00 PM)  


    by the slow over rate, Ponting was forced to turn to slow bowlers Cameron White, Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke to reach their overs target
    Read more .....

    By Blogger vinu (26-Nov-2008, 4:35:00 PM)  

    I'm wondering why Steve Waugh is not in your list?

    By Blogger Mahadevan (26-Nov-2008, 9:04:00 PM)  

    Clarke - Yeah probably missed out on him, but I haven't really seen him on the outfield too often

    Steve Waugh - I haven't seen him at slip. I guess he was more of a gully fielder, but wasn't seen around in front of the wicket too often. I could be wrong though.

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Nov-2008, 6:48:00 PM)  

    prabu, You should not have stopped wondering on why steve was missed out. You should have even thought about Siddhu.

    I think the best all round fielder i have come across is brian macmillan !

    By Blogger மணிகண்டன் (04-Dec-2008, 9:36:00 PM)  

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