When speaking about best fielders in the world of all-time, there is one name who is likely to feature in every list – Jonty Rhodes. The South African veteran, during his playing days, redefined fielding with some of the most memorable catches, run-outs and dives on the ground.
A look back at Rhodes’ career highlights will give a glimpse of some of the most entertaining moments in cricket history – and that is why is still regarded as an inspiration for many when it comes to fielding. So, if Rhodes praises a player for his fielding efforts, it certainly holds a significant value.
In a recent Instagram Live session with former Zimbabwe pacer Pommie Mbangwa, Rhodes rated former South Africa international AB de Villiers as the greatest fielder of all-time. Rhodes feels De Villiers’ movements on the field keep him ahead in the list of best fielders.
“The greatest fielder of time? AB de Villiers. He is a wicket-keeper, he is at slip, he fields at mid-off, long-on, the guy is the greatest of all time,” Rhodes told Mbangwa.
“Andrew Symonds was the first guy I saw who could field at every position. He could field at the boundary as he had a strong arm. For a big unit like Symonds to dive at full length, it took good amount of effort,” he added.
Rhodes further said he loves Suresh Raina as well, but De Villiers leaves everyone behind.
“I have loved Suresh Raina, but the best fielder I have seen since Jonty Rhodes has to be AB de Villiers, he just moves so well. I think someone like Ben Stokes is at all the hotspots. AB de Villiers reads the game as well, and he is a batsman so that helps him in reading the game, from my perspective, de Villiers has to be the best fielder,” Rhodes said.
The 35-year-old De Villiers announced his retirement from international cricket on May 23, 2018. However, he tried to stage a comeback in the 2019 World Cup but was not able to reach an agreement with the Proteas management.
Earlier this year, there was a huge amount of buzz that de Villiers would make his comeback and play the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia. The tournament is slated to start from October 18, but the future of the competition is now not known due to the coronavirus pandemic.