“Catches win matches” is a good old cliche used in Cricket which everyone must have heard a lot of times. A brilliant catch can change the course of the match in seconds and tilt the balance of the game in favour of the team which has taken the catch. A lot of emphasis has been put on fielding lately in international cricket, as all sides now are intent on becoming brilliant fielding sides. Astonishing catches now can be seen in Cricket, as players have become so athletic who can produce a moment of magic from anywhere on the field. But there have been some unfortunate drop catches in the Cricket World Cup as well, ask Herschelle Gibbs who dropped the Australian Captain Steve Waugh in the semifinals of the 1999 Cricket World. Those famous words of Waugh to Gibbs in which he said “ You have dropped the World Cup” still haunts the South African side. There have been some outstanding fielders that have taken some amazing catches in the Cricket World Cup. But who has taken the most? Here are the top 5 fielders that have taken the most number of catches in the Cricket World Cup.
1. Ricky Ponting
No surprise here as two times World Cup winning Captain of Australia Ricky Ponting has taken the most number of catches. Arguably the best all round fielder the World has ever seen, Ponting was electric on the field. Everyone knows about the contribution he made to his side with the bat, but his efforts in the field was underrated. Ponting was one fielder that could field anywhere, he took brilliant catches in the circle as well as in the deep. His anticipation on the field was brilliant and he hardly dropped catches. In the 46 matches he played in the Cricket World Cup, Ponting snaffled 28 catches and that just proves what a live wire he was on the field.
2. Sanath Jayasuriya
The Sri Lankan legend is one of the greatest ODI Player that contributed in all facets of the game. When it came to batting, he could absolutely annihilate the opposition in the first 15 overs and with the ball too he picked crucial wickets with his left arm career throughout his career. Jayasuriya was a brilliant catcher as well and took a lot of catches, especially in his follow through he pouched several catches. He would just not miss any opportunity to dismiss the batsman in his own bowling. The All rounder took 18 catches in the 38 matches he played in the Cricket World Cup.
3. Joe Root
This might come as a surprise to many as star England batsman Joe Root is third on the list. In the 2015 World Cup, Root who was playing in his first ever World Cup took numerous catches in the slip cordon. The test Captain of England is a brilliant slip fielder and has an amazing technique of taking low and sharp catches. In the death overs, Root usually fields in the most targets places which are long on and mid wicket, which allows him plenty of chances to add to his catches tally.
In just 12 matches, Root has taken 16 catches and with him having age on his side he can even go past Ponting and become the fielder with the most number of catches.
4. Chris Cairns
The hard-hitting Kiwi All Rounder was a typical white ball cricketer that every side wanted to have in their side. He bowled the crucial overs for his side and also batted at 6 or 7 and scored runs at a strike rate of 100 even in the 90s. Cairns was a good catcher as well as the ball always followed him when he was on the field. He was a big man and batsman found it difficult to hit over him when he fielded at Extra cover and mid-wicket. In the 28 matches at the Cricket World Cup, Cairns caught 16 catches which is the fourth most in the history of Cricket World Cup.
5. Chris Gayle
Yes, you read it right it’s none other than the Universal boss that is at the fifth spot. People generally don’t associate Gayle with catching, people come to see him hitting monster sixes with his heavy bat. But Gayle during the early stage of his career was a fine catcher especially in the slip when a spinner bowled. He stood in the first slip for many years and took a lot of catches. His bucket hands made no mistake when an edge came to him as a result in the 5 World Cup he has played so far Gayle has the fifth most catches in World Cup history with 16 in 32 matches.