Irrespective of the formats, for every good bowler, there needs to be an equally tremendous fielder who can grab the opportunities in the form of catches. In Test cricket, the best catchers are usually placed in positions like slips, point, gully. In fact, after the wicket-keeper, the slip cordon is the most crucial fielding position in red-ball cricket.
When it comes to the limited-over formats, especially in the death overs, the best fielders can be seen showing their skills at long-on, long-off, deep mid-wicket positions. Overall, one can easily say that fielding is a key aspect of cricket and the quality of a top side relies a lot on it.
Over the years, the captivating game has produced several exceptional catchers, and they have taken plenty of catches in their long careers. And the icing on the cake is when a captain of any team contributes in this regard.
There have been many outstanding leaders who have set the tone with their acrobatic efforts in the outfield. Let’s have a look at five such skippers who have taken the most number of catches in international cricket.
5.) Allan Border – 192 catches
The inspirational Australian captain, Allan Border, did wonders with his outstanding leadership ability. Border took over the reins of the side when perhaps they were at their lowest level, and from there he made Aussies the world-champions.
In fact, Border was one of the very few cricketers who at his retirement appeared in more Tests, including consecutive games, played more Tests as captain and took more catches than any other player. Speaking about catches, Border finished his international career with 192 grabs as a captain in 271 matches.
4.) Ricky Ponting – 211 catches
Another stimulating Aussie genius, Ricky Ponting, is in the list at the fourth spot. He grew into the nation’s most successful run-maker and only sat below the iconic Sir Don Bradman in the country’s overall ratings.
Ponting became one of the most successful captains the game ever saw. Apart from the captaincy heroics, the Tasmanian also proved his worth as one of the most incredible fielders. In 324 games overall, Ponting took 211 catches as a skipper.
3.) Stephen Fleming – 240 catches
Just like the names mentioned above, New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming was also one of the most graceful captains in the history of cricket. In an international career which spanned for 15 years, Fleming owned a series of records.
The Canterbury cricketer was, in fact, the first New Zealander to pass 7000 Test runs. He achieved the landmark during his final series against England in 2008. Being a part of the slip cordon, Fleming was a sharp fielder and no wonder he sits at the third spot in the list.
In 303 matches, Fleming grasped 240 catches as a captain in the international arena. Overall in Tests, he took 171, while in ODIs, his catches tally is 133. Fleming’s remaining grabs came in the shortest format of the game.
2.) Graeme Smith – 254 catches
Arguably one of the finest captains in South African cricket, Graeme Smith carried forward the legacy which legends like Hansie Cronje, Gary Kirsten, and Shaun Pollock left. He was handed over the responsibility at the age of 22 – making him his country’s youngest captain.
Smith is known for rebuilding the African team and bringing top-quality players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn etc. The Johannesburg-born did wonders in the fielding department as well which may not be a surprising factor as the Proteas have already given a mind-boggling fielder like Jonty Rhodes.
In 286 matches, Smith went on to take 254 catches as a leader. Overall, he grabbed 169 in the red-ball format while in ODIs and T20Is, Smith took 105 and 18 catches.
1.) MS Dhoni – 412 catches
Arguably one of the finest captains of the 21st century, MS Dhoni achieved so many things under his inspirational leadership that a skipper can only wish for. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the top prize in all formats, for instance: the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the T20 World Cup on his captaincy debut in 2007.
From a ticket inspector working for Indian Railways to becoming the second most popular cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, the journey of Dhoni has been phenomenal. Being a tremendous wicket-keeper, Dhoni wrote new definitions to this department with his innovative trials.
So far, in 332 games, the Ranchi-born has taken as many as 412 catches as a skipper. Overall in the longest format, he took 256 grabs while in ODIs, Dhoni has 321 catches to his name. Whereas, in T20 internationals, the former India skipper has clutched 57 catches.
Note: Wicket-keepers have been included.