Classic catches, ridiculous run-outs, stunning saves … they’re all par for the course for this sensational six
Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Like many who feature on this list, Maxwell is an all-round package. His arm-strength and accuracy could be a product of his days playing baseball as a youth, but that wouldn’t explain his amazing ability to catch, perhaps the most gifted grabber in this list. His spatial awareness near the boundary rope has saved countless runs, from either bunting the ball back, lobbing to a close-by teammate or taking the catch himself. And the 27-year-old is just as threatening in the circle. The below one-handed grab against England last year is the stuff of genius.
Ajinkya Rahane (India)
The pint-sized Rahane is a giant in the field, owning the record for the most catches by a fielder (non-wicketkeeper) in a single Test match. Rahane’s eight grabs against Sri Lanka in Galle in August last year bettered the mark of seven held by five men – Greg Chappell, Yajurvindra Singh, Hashan Tillakaratne, Stephen Fleming and Matthew Hayden. With a touch of irony, Rahane put down a routine catch against New Zealand in the morning session yesterday, but he also managed three sharps grabs from the spinners (see below). And hey, nobody means to drop a catch; even Ricky Ponting dropped one. Once. We think.
Ben Stokes (England)
Stokes has a magnetic set of hands, and makes this list on the back of the ‘claw’ catch in the 2015 Ashes. With Australia’s top-order mesmerised by Stuart Broad, the last thing the tourists needed was a miracle catch to hammer home the new-ball obliteration at Trent Bridge. At 4-21, Adam Voges’ thick edge flew past the outstretched right-hand of Stokes at fifth slip, but as the ball appeared to be behind the allrounder, the ‘claw’ somehow clung on to the ball to pull off the classic catch. He’s also reckless with his body in the field, throwing himself at the ball like he did diving for a chance in Sharjah last November.
Sprinting across the turf like a Jack Russell, Warner is like a dog chasing a bone in the outfield. In Test cricket the Australia vice-captain fields at close-quarters in order to provide some advice to the opposition batsmen, but in the two limited-overs formats he patrols the boundary like few others. Warner’s game as a batsman is based around attack and he employs that mantra as a fielder, working angles to intercept ground balls, diving perilously to prevent boundaries and arrowing in his throws to keep the heat on the runners. The below video from 2014 demonstrates the above perfectly.
Kieron Pollard (West Indies)
For a man of his stature (196cm), Pollard is surprisingly nimble and agile. There’s a certain grace to the way the West Indian bounds along the boundary rope, plucking sixes out of the sky and making the difficult catch look mundane. And when a bullet is coming his way on the fence the allrounder prefers to go with the single paw, like this ridiculous catch from Indian Premier League in 2014.
Andre Russell (West Indies)
Built like a thoroughbred horse, Russell thunders across the field and throws lightning from the deep. His agility for his size, much like his Windies teammate Pollard, is otherworldly, reaching balls in the outfield no mere mortal would dare getting close to. There’s a myriad of examples to demonstrate his athletic prowess, but this grab for the Sydney Thunder last summer sums Russell’s abilities up nicely.