Fielding is the most underrated part of cricket. One dropped catch can cost you a game or in Herschelle Gibbs's case a World Cup. Amidst the run blitz, sometimes the work put in by fielders is overlooked. However, over the last 9 years of the IPL has certainly seen its share of spectacular catches.
In our ongoing series of the Indian Premier League, we now bring you the 5 best catches the tournament has seen in the nine years of its existence.
1.Ricky Ponting takes a stunner to send Unmukt Chand on his way
Over the years, Ricky Ponting had earned himself a reputation of being one of the finest fielders of his generation and when it came to the IPL he continued his legacy by taking a stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Unmukt Chand, during the Mumbai Indians’ home encounter against the Delhi Daredevils in the 2013 edition of the tournament.
Having been set a massive target of 210 to win, Delhi got off to the worst possible start when Harbhajan Singh found the leading edge of opener Unmukt Chand’s bat. Ponting was quick on his feet as he moved to his right and despite initially losing his balance managed to pluck the ball out of the air and send Chand on his way for a first ball duck. Even though Ponting was no stranger to taking such catches, the fact that he had done it at the age of 40, made commentator, Ravi Shastri, remind viewers of his age at the given moment.
David Hussey, Paul Collingwood, and poetic justice
What goes around comes around! Any video of spectacular catches will always feature Paul Collingwood and so does this one even if it is for very different reasons. In a match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils, David Hussey provided one of the most memorable catches in IPL history to send Collingwood packing. Hussey served some poetic justice when he displayed every ounce of his athleticism to ensure Collingwood was back in the pavilion in Delhi.
Collingwood was looking to make the most of the final over of the innings and looked to have made a decent connection with a full toss off a Charl Langeveldt delivery that appeared to be sailing over the boundary. However, David Hussey managed to stop the airborne ball from crossing the boundary and pulled it back into play, just before he went over the boundary before coming back onto the playing field and lunging forward to complete superb effort and give us one of the best catches in IPL history.
3. Dwayne Bravo proves his worth with an acrobatic effort:-
Indians love Dwayne Bravo, not just for his talent with both the ball and bat but also for his singing and dancing abilities. However, on April 28, 2015, during a Chennai Super Kings home game against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Bravo pulled off one best catches in the IPL and gave everyone a moment to savor with his acrobatic effort to remove Suryakumar Yadav.
With KKR chasing 135 to win, Mohit Sharma opted to test Yadav with a short delivery that took the batsman by surprise. The ball took the top edge of his bat.and appeared to be heading into a safe zone in between Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis. The West Indian, however, was not ready to give up on the chance as he outpaced the South African to catch the ball with one hand while lunging forward, just before it hit the ground. Seeing the reaction of the crowd it would be hard to fault Bravo for the free-spirited celebration.
4. There’s only one Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard might have made a name for himself as one of the most potent all-rounders in the game, thanks to his big hitting with the bat and his wicket taking abilities, but it his fielding efforts
In the 8th over of the Royals’ innings, a Kevon Cooper shot off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh looked destined to cross the boundary ropes. But Pollard had other ideas. Not only did he time his jump to perfection, brilliantly stopping the ball from crossing the ropes. His momentum, though, appeared to be taking him out of bounds but the big man threw the ball back into the playing field, just as he went over the boundary. Pollard, then somehow, managed to regain his balance and pull off an equally impressive diving catch to seal Cooper's fate.
5. Chris Lynn steals De Villiers’ thunder
Chris Lynn may not be the most prominent cricketer the IPL has ever seen. Most people might even struggle to remember his face, but show them this catch and it will all come racing back to them. They say, "Catches win matches" - it might be this game that would always be the example for the phrase.
On April 24th, 2014, chasing a target of 151 set by Kolkata Knight Riders, Virat Kohli (31), Yuvraj Singh (31), and Yogesh Takawale (40) had brought RCB within touching distance of the win. With AB at the crease and just six runs needed from 3 balls, no one would have faulted the Bangalore fans for celebrating early. However, Lynn had other ideas. As de Villiers looked to win the game in typical fashion, with a six off Vinay Kumar over