15 Best Fielders of all time in cricket history! Are you curious to find out about them? Fielders may be underrated, but they are one of the team’s most important members. If you are one of those cricket fanatics, you might be familiar with some of the best fielders of all time.
Cricket is a sport loved by millions around the world. The game is massively popular worldwide and is one of the most-watched sports.
India will host the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, the 13th edition of the Cricket World Cup, a quadrennial ODI cricket tournament contested by men’s national teams and organized by the ICC.
In cricket, batting and bowling are essential to winning a game. However, fielding’s importance is often overlooked. Brilliant fielding is sometimes enough to change the outcome of a match.
Therefore, we are back with a list of the best fielders who have displayed that cricket is not just batting and bowling. These fielders have shown their brilliant skills contributing to the team winning the match.
So let’s get into the details of these amazing fielders who have entertained and captured the hearts of fans worldwide, aside from showing their skills.
But let us take a table below before getting into the details.
|15. Brendon McCullum||New Zealand|
|14. Virat Kohli||India|
|13. Glenn Maxwell||Australia|
|12. Mohammad Kaif||India|
|11. Dwayne Bravo||Trinidad And Tobago|
|10. Faf Du Plessis||South Africa|
|9. Steve Smith||Australia|
|8. Ravindra Jadeja||India|
|7. Andrew Symonds||Australia|
|6. Paul Collingwood||United Kingdom|
|5. Ricky Pointing||Australia|
|4. AB de Villiers||South Africa|
|3. Herschelle Gibbs||South Africa|
|2. Suresh Raina||India|
|1. Jonty Rhodes||South Africa|
15 Best Fielders Of All Time In Cricket History
15. Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum is a former cricketer considered one of New Zealand’s most successful batters and captains. Born on September 27, 1981, and is 42 years old as of 2023.
McCullum played domestic cricket before making his international debut. He is the first and one of the only two Kiwi players to score 2000 runs in T20 Internationals and two T20 International centuries.
In 2014, McCullum became the first player from his country to score a triple hundred in a Test. The same year, he became the first New Zealander to score 1000 test runs in a calendar year.
Similarly, McCullum became the first batsman to score 2 tons in T20I, and in 2016, he became the fastest-ever Test century in 54 balls.
Aside from playing in his home country’s national teams, he also played for different franchises.
In 2019, McCullum retired from all forms of cricket.
McCullum retired in August 2019 and is working as a head coach of the England Cricket Test team as of 2023.
England won the series when the South African cricket team toured England in three Test matches, three One Day International (ODI), and Twenty20 International (T20I) matches.
During England’s tour to Pakistan in the winter of 2022, he coached England to the first-ever whitewash of Pakistan in a home series.
14. Virat Kohli
Often known as one of the greatest batsmen of his era, Virat Kohli is also one of the best fielders. The 35 year-old cricketer from India is also a former captain of the Indian national team.
Kohli is a right-handed player who made his test debut in 2011. However, he started playing cricket in 2002 for the Delhi Under-15 team. The former captain made his international debut in 2008 when he was included in the Indian ODI team.
In 2013, Kohli became number one in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen for the first time. Likewise, in 2014 and 2016, he won the Man of the Tournament at the ICC World Twenty20.
Forbes has dubbed Kohli the most valuable athlete brand, and Time magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential people worldwide.
Many critics believe he is one of the best limited-overs batsmen in history. Kohli plays for Delhi in domestic cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise team Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Virat decided to step down as the captain of the Indian national team for T20I following the T20 World Cup in 2021, and in early 2022, he dropped from the captain position of the Test team as well.
In 2022, Kohli was regarded as one of the most commercially viable cricketers, with estimated earnings of $21 million.
In the series against the Sri Lanka cricket team, Kohli delivered a prodigious performance, amassing an unbeaten 166 runs in 110 balls. He surpassed all other players for the most ODI centuries scored in the country.
His performance in this match elevated him to become the fifth-highest run scorer in ODI cricket, ahead of Mahela Jayawardene.
13. Glenn Maxwell
Next on our list is the Australian cricketer Glenn James Maxwell. The 35 year-old Maxwell was born Glen James Maxwell and made his professional career debut for the national team Victoria in 2010.
Maxwell is well known for his dramatic shots and improvisation in the short form of the game. He made his ODI debut in 2012, playing against Afghanistan in a one-off ODI in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2013, he made his Test debut playing against India. Maxwell holds the fastest-ever half-century record in Australian domestic one-day cricket. He achieved this feat in 2011.
In the 2015 World Cup, he recorded the second-fastest World Cup century in a match against Sri Lanka. Similarly, in 2016, in a match against Sri Lanka, Maxwell recorded an unbeaten 145 from 65 balls, the fourth-highest score in Twenty20 Internationals.
Maxwell is the second Australian to score centuries in all three formats of cricket. In 2013, he was signed by the Mumbai Indians’ IPL team for $1 million.
In the 2012 Champions League Twenty20, he played for Hampshire in South Africa. Likewise, he was acquired by the London Spirit for the 2022 season of The Hundred.
He married his long-time girlfriend, Vini Raman, in March 2022.
12. Mohammad Kaif
A former Indian professional cricket, Mohammad Kaif, was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He started his cricket career at Green Park Hostel, Kanpur.
Kaif’s father was a former cricketer who played for the Railways and Uttar Pradesh cricket teams. Because of this, Mohammad was exposed to cricket from an early age.
In 2005, he made his Test debut in Bangalore in a match against South Africa. Soon after, he was selected by the National Cricket Academy in their first intake.
Kaif played for various IPL franchises like the Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After his successful playing career, he transitioned into a coaching career. In 2017, he was an assistant coach for the Gujarat Lions. Likewise, in 2019 and 2020, Kaif served as the assistant coach for the Delhi Capitals.
11. Dwayne Bravo
Considered one of the finest death bowlers in T20 cricket, Trinidadian cricketer Dwayne Bravo is also one of the best midfielders. The 40 year-old Bravo is a former West Indies cricket team captain.
The 40 year-old cricketer made his first-class debut in 2002 for Trinidad and Tobago in a game against Barbados. Similarly, he made his ODI debut in the 2003/04 tour of the Caribbean. His first ODI match was against England.
Since debuting on the international platform, Bravo has also been a key member of the West Indies. He has also been playing for West Indies since 2004.
Bravo was part of the team which won the 2004 IC Champions Trophy, 2012 ICC World Twenty20, and 2016 ICC World Twenty20.
He has also played for the IPL team Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
True to being one of the death bowlers, Bravo is also known for his aggressive batting in the middle order. Likewise, he can also bowl in a variety of lengths. For instance, while playing with Chennai Super Kings, he completed 550 wickets in his T20 career on October 10, 2021.
The Chennai Super Kings purchased Dwayne for $533,740 in the 2022 IPL Auction. He announced his retirement from IPL and subsequently replaced Lakshmipathy Balaji as the bowling coach of the same franchise on 2 Dec 2022.
10. Faf Du Plessis
Born and raised in Pretoria, Transvaal Province, South Africa, 39 year-old Faf Du Plessis is an international cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and is one of the best midfielders coming from South Africa.
Du Plessis started his playing career in 2004 with the first-class cricket team, Northerns. His test debut was in 2012 against Australia. Similarly, he made his ODI debut in 2011 and T20I debut in 2012.
When Du Plessis made his Test debut, he scored a Test century, becoming the fourth South African to achieve the feat. Additionally, he was also the captain of the team during T20 and Test games. He is a former captain of the South African national cricket team.
Aside from playing for the domestic and national teams, Du Plessis played for various international teams. Plessis has been part of the IPL franchise team Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant.
Likewise, he has also played for Lancashire County Cricket Club, Pakistani Super League teams, etc. His very recent was the Saint Lucia Kings, the Caribbean Premier League team.
Du announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cups.
In the IPL auction of 2022, du Plessis was acquired by Royal Challengers Banglore and was named the team’s captain on 12 March 2022.
The Northern Superchargers bought him for the April 2022 season of The Hundred in England.
In November 2022, he was drafted by the Perth Scorchers for the half of the 2022-23 Big Bash League season as a replacement for Laurie Evans.
9. Steve Smith
We have another cricketer from Australia on our list of best midfielders of all time. Born as Steven Peter Devereux Smith, Steve Smith is a 34 year-old international cricketer and current vice-captain of the Australian national cricket team in Tests.
Smith started his playing career on the Under-19 cricket team. In 2008, he was part of the Australian team playing in Malaysia’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup. That year, he also made his first-class debut for New South Wales.
Likewise, Smith made his Test and ODI debut in 2010, while he made his Twenty20 cricket debut in 2008. In his Twenty20 debut, he was the leading wicket-taker.
After making his senior debut, he was also part of different international franchise cricket teams. Smith also held the helm of the Australian national cricket team as a captain.
The ICC Player Rankings has rated him as one of the top-ranked Test batsmen in the world. Consequently, he has received awards like the SirGarfield Trophy, ICC Test Player of the Year, Allan Border Medal, etc.
In the 2022 IPL auctions, he went unsold.
Australia’s Test squad named him vice-captain for their home series against South Africa in December 2022.
He scored 104 runs and moved past Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke to become the fourth-highest Australian Test run-scorer on 5 January 2023, which was also his 30th Test century, the equal third most by an Australian.
8. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is an Indian cricketer who has consistently been considered one of the best fielders in the world. The 34 year-old Jadeja is an all-rounder left-handed player.
Jadeja was 16 when he first appeared for India in the Under-19 division. He was also part of the Under-19 Indian team in the 2006 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. His first-class debut came in the 2006-07 Duleep Trophy.
Similarly, Jadeja’s ODI and Twenty20 debut were in 2009, while his Test debut was in 2012. He became the top-ranked bowler in 2017.
Since 2008, Jadeja has been part of the IPL franchise. In the inaugural season of the IPL, he was selected by the Rajasthan Royals. He has also played for the Gujarat Lions and Chennai Superkings.
Currently, Jadeja represents the first-class cricket team Saurashtra and the IPL team Chennai Super Kings.
He was the captain of the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise for the 2022 IPL season, succeeding MS Dhoni, but he dropped from the position in the middle of the season.
In the fifth Test match of the 2022 Indian tour of England, he scored his first overseas century and was named India’s vice-captain for the away ODI series against the West Indies in July.
7. Andrew Symonds
Andrew Symonds was a former Australian international cricketer. He was born in Birmingham, England, and played all three formats as a batting all-rounder. Symonds was known notably for his exceptional fielding skills.
Most of Symonds’s junior cricket years were spent playing for the Wanderers club in Townsville. However, he debuted with the Queensland state team in the 1994-95 season. He was known as an aggressive right-handed batsman.
In late 2005, Cricinfo reported Symonds was an exceptional fielder. He had the fourth-highest success rate and had affected everyone with the fifth equal most run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman.
Similarly, he was a versatile player with excellent reflexes. In addition, he was very good at catches and had powerful, accurate throwing arms.
Symonds’s career since mid-2008 had been marred due to alcohol and disciplinary reasons. Consequently, he retired from all forms of cricket on February 16, 2012.
Symonds died at age 46 in a single-vehicle car crash about 50 km (31 mi) outside Townsville, Queensland, on 14 May 2022.
In a statement, Queensland Police said that Symonds was driving on Hervey Range Road near the Alice River Bridge when his car left and rolled at around 10:30 pm local time.
He was the sole occupant of the car, paramedics responded and attempted to revive him, but Symonds was pronounced dead at the scene.
6. Paul Collingwood
On our number 6 is a 47 year-old former English cricketer Paul Collingwood. He was the first T20I captain for England and played all three game formats.
Collingwood started his playing career in 1995. He signed with the local county cricket team, Durham, and played his first List A one-day cricket. However, his first-class debut came in 1996 with Northamptonshire.
Immediately Collington left an impression by taking the wicket of former England all-rounder David Capel with his first ball. However, his career breakthrough began in 2000.
He made his ODI debut in 2001, while his Test debut and T20I debut in 2003 and 2007. He was captain of England’s ODI team and Durham County Cricket Club.
Until May 2019, Collingwood was England’s most-capped ODI cricketer. He is considered one of the finest fielders of his era and led his country’s team to their first ICC trophy in the 2010 World Twenty20.
In 2018, Collingwood took retirement from first-class and List-A cricket.
5. Ricky Ponting
Widely regarded as one of the best batsmen of the modern era, Ricky Ponting is also an excellent slip fielder of all time. Ponting is a former cricketer from Australia who captained the Australian national team.
Ponting was introduced to cricket by his father and uncle. By 11, Ricky had already started playing for the Mowbray Under-13 team in 1985-96. And at 17, he made his first-class debut for Tasmania in 1992.
When Ponting made his first-class debut, he was the youngest Tasmanian to play in a Sheffield Shield match. He made his ODI debut in 1995.
Statistically, he is one of the most prosperous Test captains. Ponting is Australia’s most prolific batter and leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket. Similarly, he is the only cricketer in history to be involved in 100 Test victories.
Ponting was named “Cricketer of the Decade 2000” and the country’s best Ashes XI in a Cricket Australia poll in 2017. He took retirement from his playing career after 2013. He was the assistant coach of the Australian national men’s cricket team.
Ponting serves as the head coach of the Delhi Capitals as of 2023.
4. AB de Villiers
Born as Abraham Benjamin de Villiers, 39 year-old AB de Villiers is a former South African cricketer. He was also a former South African national team captain in all three formats.
Considered one of the modern era’s most innovative and destructive batsmen, Villers is known for his unorthodox shots. He is also one of the most satisfactory midfielders and, overall, one of the greatest players.
Before making his senior debut with the Titans, Villiers played for the Under-19 division of South Africa. Likewise, he made his Test debut against England in 2004 and his ODI debut in 2005. He made his T20I debut in a game against Australia in 2006.
Villiers is among the few batsmen, averaging over fifty runs in Test and ODI. Moreover, he has the record for the fastest ODI century in just 31 balls.
Additional to his records, Villiers won Wisden cricketers of the decade at the end of 2019 and was also named the ICC ODI Player of the Year three times. He announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on 19 November 2021.
De Villiers was inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame on 17 May 2022 for his incredible contribution to the team from 2011 to 2021.
3. Herschelle Gibbs
On our number 3 of the best fielders of all time is a former South African cricketer, Herschelle Gibbs. Born as Herschelle Herman Gibbs in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, he is a right-handed batsman who played all game formats.
Gibbs is one of the naturally talented cricketers from South Africa. Also known to be an excellent fielder, he has an extraordinary ability to hit the stumps.
During his school years, Gibbs played rugby, cricket, and soccer. Later he decided to focus solely on cricket. He made his Test debut and ODI debut in 1996, whereas he made his T20I debut only in 2005.
In the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he became the first player to hit six consecutive sixes in one over in ODI cricket. He earned this feat in a game against the Netherlands.
Likewise, Gibbs had the tenth-highest success rate and had affected the eighth-highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldman. Similarly, he is one of only ten batsmen in ODI history to score hundreds in three consecutive innings.
2. Suresh Raina
On our number 2 is a former Indian international cricketer, Suresh Raina. The 36 year-old Raina is regarded as one of the world’s best fielders and an aggressive left-handed middle-order batsman.
Occasional off-spin bowler Raina started his career playing for the Under-16 cricket team. He subsequently moved from his hometown Uttar Pradesh to Lucknow to play cricket.
Raina quickly climbed the rank to become the captain of the Under-16 division of Uttar Pradesh. Then, in 2002, he was selected by the Indian selectors at the age of 15 and a half years Under-19 tour to England.
In 2005, Raina made his ODI debut; the following year, he made his T20I debut. Then in 2010, he made his first Test debut in a game against Sri Lanka.
Aside from playing for his hometown team, he has been part of the IPL franchise teams, the Chennai Super Kings, and Gujarat Lions. Ahead of the finals of IPL 2010, Raina was awarded “best fielder” by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
He was the vice-captain of Chennai Super Kings, and Raina formerly captained the Gujarat Lions and Indian cricket team. He is the second-youngest captain of India and the first batsman to hit a century in all three formats of international cricket.
In the 2022 IPL Auctions, he went unsold; he became a commentator for the tournament.
When he was with the Road Safety World Series league, he played for Indian Legends in September.
He retired from all forms of cricket on 6 September 2022, including IPL and domestic cricket.
1. Jonty Rhodes
We have made it to the top of our list of the best fielders. Jonty Rhodes is our number-one best fielder of all time. Now retired cricketer, Rhodes is regarded as one of the greatest fielders.
Born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal Province, South Africa, Rhodes was a right-handed batsman noted for his quick running. However, his specialty was defensive fielding, catching, ground fielding, and throwing from his most common position of backward point.
In 1992, Rhodes made his Test debut in a game against India. Similarly, his ODI debut was in the same year in the 1992 Cricket World Cup against Australia.
As reported by Cricinfo in late 2005, since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Rhodes had the third-highest success rate with the ninth-highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman.
Aside from being one of the greatest fielders in cricket history, Rhodes also played hockey. He represented South Africa in hockey and was part of Barcelona’s 1992 Olympic Games team.
Rhodes’s cricket career lasted until 2003. In 2000, he announced his retirement from Test cricket, and then after an injury during the 2003 Cricket World Cup, he announced his retirement from ODI.
He was a batting coach for Punjab Kings for IPL 2022 in Feb 2022 and a fielding coach for the side.
The contributions of fielders are often swept under the rug. However, the fielders play crucial roles, sometimes changing the tides of the game.
What do you think of our list? Who do you think is the finest fielder of all time in cricket history? Do let us know!