Former cricketer Jonty Rhodes is probably the greatest fielder of all time in world cricket. He changed the definition of fielding with his agile efforts in the field. The fielding standards across the world have improved significantly since his time. The South African cricketer, who will be joining the Lucknow Super Giants as the fielding coach this Indian Premier League season opened up on modern-day fielding.
In an interview with the Times of India (TOI), Jonty Rhodes also named Ravindra Jadeja as the best fielder in world cricket at the moment. Jadeja has been outstanding and of the safest fielders. He has taken 129 catches in International cricket and is known for his bullet arm, pulling off brilliant run-outs. When asked to name the current top three fielders in the world, Jonty Rhodes said, “Right now, there is only one – Ravindra Jadeja.”
Only when IPL began, people really started focusing on fielding: Jonty Rhodes
Jonty Rhodes further credited the Indian Premier League for improved fielding standards. He expressed that before the focus was primarily on batting or bowling, however, now the players are also working on the fielding aspect of their game. Rhodes added that fielding has become an important part of modern-day cricket. He said,
“It is T20 cricket specifically, not just limited overs. Only when IPL began, people really started focusing on fielding. Not every team had fielding coaches. There was enough time in 50-over matches. You had 3-4 good fielders and 6-7 guys didn’t do great. But once IPL started, we saw growth in fielding. Since 2008, around 12-13 years have been amazing. Earlier, people spoke about fielding but there were only 3-4 good individuals. But now, as a team, we have seen the growth of fielding go through the roof.”
“It is not difficult to focus on fielding because it is a discipline. We have fielding coaches and their job is to make the work done. Just like batting and bowling, it is a part of daily practice. As a fielding coach, I am not requesting players, I am getting them into fielding rules. Fielding now is an important part of cricket,” he added.
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