Can this dream fielding team stop all runs?

Can this dream fielding team stop all runs?

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There is a saying that catches win matches and though in the olden days players didnot take fielding seriously,slowly and steadily they started takinginterest. People cannot forget the sensational fielders like Eknath Solkar, Gary Sobers, Jonty Rhodes etc left all stunned with their fielding exploits.

Now many often wonder whether a dream fielding team stop all the runs from the opposition batsmen. All these best fielders may have no chance to get into any international team but it would be a dream if they field against any side. 

Fielding positions have been selected as the team has no bolwersbelow average 35. Fielders strictly means non wicketkeepers.

1. Silp: New Zealand player Bryan Young is known for outstandingon field perforamnces. He has the highest catches per innings in minimum five tests. He is the one of 13 fielders to have taken three catches in each innings of a Test.
(New Zealand, 1993-1999, 35 Tests, 54 catches, batting average 31.78).

2. Mid-Off: Australia's Alec Bannerman was described as a supermid off in his Wisden Obituary. His 91 off an estimated 620 balls in 1892 might scare many but he was a sensation on field. 
(Australia, 1879-1893, 28 Tests, 21 catches, batting average 23.08)

3. Long Leg: South Africa's Russel Endean was a good batsman during low scoring test era but was the one of the best fielders inSouth African team. They drew 2-2 away in Australia in 1952-53 and at home against a statistically superior England in 1956-57 (and pushed England close away in 1955), in large part due to their collective brilliance in the field.Endean snaffled a leaping one-handed boundary catch to dismiss Keith Miller at the MCG in1952 .
(South Africa, 1951-1958, 28 Tests (including one as wicketkeeper), 41 catches (three as keeper), batting average 33.95)

4. Cover Point: India's Hemu Adhikari was described as an  "exceptionally brilliant" (Daily Telegraph) cover point of exceptional brilliance. Lt Col Adhikari applied his military background to the science and discipline of fielding, and was, according to some, Jonty Rhodes way before Mr and Mrs Rhodes even had a glint of an era-defining fielder in their eyes. 

(South Africa, 1951-1958, 28 Tests (including one as wicketkeeper), 41 catches (three as keeper), batting average 33.95)

5. captain, Gully: Australia's Vic Richardson would have won golde medal had cricket been confined to just fielding. Wisden compared Richardson as (surely one of the few remaining founts of verifiable truths in this world), "remarkable… his speed, agility and eminently safe hands making him prominent in any position". The Australian Dictionary of Biography (surely one of the leading dictionaries of biographies of Australian people) describes his close-to-the-wicket fielding in particular as "freakish", and praises his natural athleticism and superb reflexes.

(Australia, 1924-1936, 19 Tests, 24 catches, batting average 23.53)

6. Slip: England's Len Braund though a decent leg spinner and abatsman, is a phenomenal slip fielder. In fact, one of his catches was so good, swooping across from slip to pouch Clem Hill down the leg side at Edgbaston in 1902, that someone drew a picture of it. His contemporaries said Braund would bring both calmness ("cool as a cucumber" - CB Fry) and zeal ("all enthusiasm… it is hard to imagine a side which includes Braund becoming slack in the field" - Pelham Warner) to this team.

Baraund was sensational in Australia, where in he took 29 catches in 15 Tests (still the fourth highest taken by a fielderaway), and was the only fielder in the first 88 years of Test cricket to twice take four catches in an innings.

(England, 1901-1908, 23 Tests, 39 catches, batting average 25.97, bowling average 38.51)

7. Extra Cover: England's Gilber Jessop was described by Richie Benaud as "perhaps the best one-day player to have ever lived", though one day cricket was introduced six decades later. Jessop's legendary 70-minute hundred in the 1902 Oval Test is probably in the top three Innings. 

(England 1899-1912, 18 Tests, 11 catches, batting average 21.88, bowling average 35.40)

8. Short Leg: India's Eknath Solkar is the only test fielder to average more than a catch per innings over a career of 12 innings.Solkar's 53 victims in 50 innings had  a higher dismissals-per-innings average than India's wicketkeepers, who collectively took 38 catches and made nine stumpings.

Solkar's catching stats in Indian victories are even more remarkable - 28 in seven wins, with only one catchless inningsout of 14, accounting for more than 20% of India's wickets. His figure of precisely two catches per victorious Test innings places him in almost Bradmanesque statistical isolation. Of the 831 non-wicketkeepers to have fielded in five or more Test wins, only two others have averaged more than even 1.15 catches per innings - England's Nick Knight (19 in 12, 1.58 per innings) and Jack Ikin (15 in 10). All done without a helmet.

(India, 1969-1977, 27 Tests, 53 catches, batting average 25.42, bowling average 59.44) 

9. Bolwer: West Indies' Darren Sammy is behind only to Solkar in test catches per innings. He takes the new ball, for two reasons. Firstly because, among seamers, only Richard Hadlee has taken more than Sammy's nine caught-and-bowleds. Hadlee took ten, in 86 Tests; Botham (102 Tests) and Steyn (85 Tests) also have nine. Secondly, Sammy is one of two Test cricketers to have opened the bowling and taken five catches in the same innings.

Sammy's catches accounted for 11.7% of the wickets taken by West Indies' bowlers, putting him behind Solkar (14.5%), but ahead of other high-frequency-catching greats such as Bryan Young (11.6%), Bobby Simpson (11.1%), Stephen Fleming (10.8%), Ross Taylor (10.0%) and Tony Greig (9.7%).

(West Indies, 2007-2013, 38 Tests, 65 catches, batting average 21.68, bowling average 35.79)

10. Mid On: Srilanka's Upul Chandana has been compared as  "a wonderfully supple fielder, capable of match-turning run-outs and sizzling airborne catches"

Chandana was a useful performer with bat and ball (and one of only two visiting spinners since 1977 to take a ten-wicket haul in a Test in Australia), but a dazzlingly brilliant fielder. His most memorable moment was a run-out of Alec Stewart at The Oval in 1998, when, as a substitute, in a blur of precision athleticism and gymnastic balance, he hurled down the stumps from side-on, and, as it transpired, denied Murali the chance to take all ten wickets.

(Sri Lanka, 1999-2005, 16 Tests, seven catches, batting average 26.78, bowling average 41.48)

11. Wicketkeeper: Pakistan's Wasim Bari was the last of 13 Test keepers to have averaged below 16 over a career of at least 12 Tests. However he was superb as the wicketkeeper. 

(Pakistan, 1967-1984, 81 Tests, 201 catches, 27 stumpings, batting average 15.88)

12th Man: Australia's John Dyson was a good opener and  he took two outfield catches of almost supernatural brilliance, the first of which - hurtling around the third-man boundary to dismiss Alan Knott with a flying one-hander inches above the Old Trafford turf in the 1981 Ashes - is one of my earliest memories of watching live cricket on television.

(Australia, 1977-1984, 30 Tests, ten catches, batting average 26.64)

Those unlucky to miss out include Graeme Hick(Eng), HeadleyHowarth(NZ),Graham Roope(Eng), Brian Close,GeorgeBonnor(Aus) and Syed Abid Ali (Ind)


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