Cricket is not about batting and bowling alone. Many times, fielding, an area which is not always in focus, was the decider in clinching matches. This is more so in the case of the shorter formats, where every run counts. In such matches, especially in World Cups, all teams expect to have as many good fielders they can have.
Going by the recent ODI matches played in England, where the bowlers have been hit all over the park, teams will need significant help from the fielders when the 2019 World Cup get under way on May 30 to put up a decent show.
Onmanorama picks five live wires on the field who could single-handedly snatch the game away from opponents.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell has represented Australia across all formats. He is useful with bat, ball and on the field. Maxwell is a master in the art of catching the ball in the deep boundary – we have often seen him flick the ball inside to maintain balance and complete a catch. He is also a specialist of running in catches and there have been numerous occasions when he came in running from the deep and diving full length to send the batsman back in the hut.
Faf du Plessis
South Africans have always been a brilliant fielding side. Jonty Rhodes and AB de Villiers were stunning fielders. Now, Faf du Plessis has grown in stature as a maestro in the art of fielding. The South African captain has dazzled in the field on many occasions. Apart from being a crucial member of the Chennai Super Kings, Faf has given a major contribution to the team with his fielding skills. For the World Cup, he is expected to be standing closer in so as to marshal his troops better. Rival batsmen will be definitely wary of him.
Ravindra Jadeja may have lost his guaranteed place in India's limited overs line up to wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, but there is really no match for him on the field. And that came in handy in the left-arm spinner's favour when the selector's picked him for India's World Cup squad. Jadeja is one of the most complete fielders India have ever seen. He hardly drops catches, be it in the circle or back in the deep, even during pressure situations. In addition to that, he is one of those rare fielders who can hit the stumps almost every time. That makes him doubly dangerous for batsmen, who fancy to steal a single or two.
Nicknamed 'Marty Two Toes', Martin Guptill has been a pillars of strength for the New Zealand batting line up in the shorter formats. He has just two toes on his left feet, which was crushed by a forklift when he was 13. Despite this, he is a live wire on the field and has taken some insane catches to turn around the game. The Kiwi opener has a safe pair of hands and often fields in the slip position as a fielder who is capable of taking crucial catches.
Although Ben Stokes’ form with the bat has been on the wane, he is one of those rare all-rounders, who are amazingly competent on the field. One thing that needs to be remembered about the Englishman is that he is an incredibly gifted athlete. Stokes brings raw reflexes to the table when he fields. An attribute that truly marks him out as a top fielder is his willingness to try the outrageous, and he pulls it off quite often. Add to it is the fact that Stokes is only one of the many good fielders England have. That is why it is hard to argue against the hosts being the outright favourites to win the tournament.