15 Best Fielders of All Time in Cricket History

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 beloved by millions around the world. The game is massively popular worldwide and is one of the most-watched sports.

In cricket, batting and bowling are essential to win a game. However, fielding’s importance is often overlooked. A brilliant fielding is sometimes enough to change the outcome of a match.

Cricket_fielding
Cricket fielding (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Therefore, we are back with you 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 details of these amazing fielders who have entertained and captured the hearts of the fans worldwide, aside from showing their skills.

15 Best Fielders of All Time in Cricket History

The list has been prepared from various trusted sources around the internet like Sportsbrowser and Sportshubnet. But let us take a table below before getting into the details.

Players NameCountry
15. Brendon McCullumNew Zealand
14. Virat KohliIndia
13. Glenn MaxwellAustralia
12. Mohammad KaifIndia
11. Dwayne BravoTrinidad and Tobago
10. Faf Du PlessisSouth Africa
9. Steve SmithAustralia
8. Ravindra JadejaIndia
7. Andrew SymondsAustralia
6. Paul CollingwoodUnited Kingdom
5. Ricky PointingAustralia
4. AB de VilliersSouth Africa
3. Herschelle GibbsSouth Africa
2. Suresh RainaIndia
1. Jonty RhodesSouth Africa

15. Brendon McCullum

Let us start our list of best fielders of all time with a former cricketer from New Zealand. Born on September 27, 1981, Brendon McCullum is considered one of New Zealand cricket’s most successful batters and captains.

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 Twenty20 International centuries.

Brendon_McCullum
Brendon McCullum (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In 2014, McCullum became the first player from his country to score triple om 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 the national and domestic teams in his home country, he also played for different franchises. In 2019, McCullum retired from all forms of cricket.

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14. Virat Kohli

Often known as one of the greatest batsmen of his era, Virat Kholi is also one of the best fielders. 33 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.

For the first time in 2013, Kholi became number one in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen. Likewise, in 2014 and 2016, he won the Man of the Tournament at the ICC World Twenty20.

Virat Kohli (Source: Instagram)
Virat Kohli (Source: Instagram)

In addition to his winnings, he also holds the record for the fastest international runs and is the recipient of many awards. Forbes has even dubbed Kholi as the most valuable athlete brand and Time magazine lists him among their 100 most influential people in the world.

Many critics believe him to be one of the best limited-overs batsmen in history. Kholi plays for Delhi in domestic cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise team Royal Challengers Bangalore.

13. Glenn Maxwell

Next on our list is the Australian cricketer Glenn James Maxwell. 33 year-old Maxwell was born Glen James Maxwell and made his professional career debut for domestic 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.

Glenn_Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Source: Wikimedia.org)

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. He has also been part of many international cricket teams.

12. Mohammad Kaif

A former Indian professional cricket, o, was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh who played Tests matches and ODIs. He started his cricket career at Green Park Hostel, Kanpur.

Kaif’s father was a former cricketer who played for the Railways cricket team and the Uttar Pradesh cricket team. Because of this, Mohammad was exposed to cricket from an early age.

In 2005, he made his first Test debut in Bangalore in a match against South Africa. Soon after that, he was selected by the National Cricket Academy in their first intake.

Mohammad_Kaif_at_Sawai_Mansingh_Stadium
Mohammad Kaif at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Source: Flickr.com)

Kaif is one of the best fielders on the Indian cricket team. He played for various IPL franchise teams 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 as one of the finest death bowlers in T20 cricket, Trinidadian cricketer Dwayne Bravo is also one of the best midfielders. 38 year-old Bravo is also a former captain of the West Indies cricket team.

38 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, Bavo has also been a key member of the West Indies. He has also been playing for West Indies since 2004.

Dwayne_Bravo_in_a_practice
Dwayne Bravo in practice (Source: Flickr.com)

Bravo has been part of the team which won the 2004 IC Champions Trophy, 2012 ICC World Twenty20, and 2016 ICC World Twenty20.

Bravo has also played for the IPL team, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians. Likewise, he has also been part of the Pakistan Super League teams, Big Bash Leagues, Bangladesh Premier League, and English county cricket.

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, he completed 550 wickets in his T20 career on October 10, 2021, while playing with Chennai Super Kings.

10. Faf Du Plessis

Born and raised in Pretoria, Transvaal Province, South Africa, 37 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 first 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 also a former captain of the South African national cricket team.

Faf_Du_Plessis_playing_for_NorthernSuperChargers
Faf Du Plessis playing for the Northern SuperChargers (Source: Instagram)

Aside from playing for the domestic and national teams, Du Plessis also 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 has announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cups.

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 33 year-old international cricketer and current vice-captain of the Australian national cricket team in Tests.

Smith started his playing career from 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, ODI debut in 2010 while he made his Twenty20 cricket debut in 2008. In his Twenty20 debut, he was the leading wicket-taker.

Steve_Smith_2014
Steve Smith 2014 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

After making his senior debut, he was also part of the 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 SirGarfield Trophy, ICC Test Player of the Year, Allan Border Medal, etc.

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8. Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja is an Indian cricketer who has been consistently considered one of the best fielders in the world. 33 year-old Jadeja is an all-rounder left-handed player.

Jadeja was 16 when he made his first appearance 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.

Ravendra_Jadeja_in_Trent_Bridge_Cricket_Stadium
Ravendra Jadeja in Trent Bridge Cricket Stadium (Source: Instagram)

Similarly, Jadeja’s ODI debut and Twenty20 debut was 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 team. 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.

7. Andrew Symonds

Andrew Symonds is a former Australian international cricketer. He was born in Birmingham, England who played all three formats as a batting all-rounder. Symonds is 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 in the 1994-95 season with the Queensland state team. He was known as an aggressive right-handed batsman.

Andrew_Symonds_2008
Andrew Symonds 2008 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In late 2005, Cricinfo reported Symonds to be an exceptional fielder. He had the fourth-highest success rate and had affected everyone the fifth equal most run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman.

Similarly, he has been known as 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 has been marred due to alcohol and disciplinary reasons. Consequently, he retired from all forms of cricket on February 16, 2012.

6. Paul Collingwood

On our number 6 is a 46 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.

Paul_Collington_walking_off_the_pitch
Paul Collington walking off the pitch (Source: Instagram)

He made his first ODI debut in 2001, while he made his Test debut and T20I debut in 2003 and 2007. He was captain for England’s ODI team and Durham County Cricket Club.

Until May 2019, Collingwood was England’s most capped ODI cricketer. He is considered as 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 the age of 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.

Ricky_Ponting_2015
Ricky Ponting 2015 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Statistically, he is one of the most prosperous Test captains of all time. 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 has been 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. Currently, he is the assistant coach of the Australian national men’s cricket team.

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4. AB de Villiers

Born as Abraham Benjamin de Villiers, 38 year-old AB de Villiers is a former South African cricketer. He was also a former captain for the South African national team in all three formats.

Considered as 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 of all time.

AB_de_Villiers_2016
AB de Villiers 2016 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Before making his senior debut with Titans, Villiers played for the Under-19 division of South Africa. Likewise, he made his Test debut against England in 2004 and ODI debut in 2005. He made his T20I debut in a game against Australia in 2006.

Villiers is one of the few batsmen with an average of over fifty in Test and ODI. Moreover, he has the record for the fastest ODI century in just 31 balls.

Additional to his records, Villiers has won Wisden cricketers of the decade at the end of 2019 and is also named as the ICC ODI Player of the Year three times. He announced retirement from all forms of cricket in 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.

Herschelle_Gibbs_2006
Herschelle Gibbs 2006 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

During his school year, 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 fieldsman. 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. 35 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 1 and a half years Under-19 tour to England.

Suresh_Raina
Suresh Raina (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In 2005, Raina made his first ODI debut, and the following year, he made his T20I debut. However, in 2010, he made his first Test debut, which was 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 even awarded “best fielder” by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Currently the vice-captain of Chennai Super Kings, 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.

1. Jonty Rhodes

We have made it to the top of our list of the best fielders of all time. Jonty Rhodes is our number one best fielder of all time in cricket history. 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 also in the same year in the 1992 Cricket World Cup against Australia.

Jonty_Rhodes
Jonty Rhodes (Source: Wikimedia.org)

As reported by Cricinfo in late 2005, since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Rhodes has 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.

Conclusion

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!

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