Jonty Rhodes, the Iconic Fielder Who Changed the Game, Turns 54 Today
Jonty Rhodes, the Iconic Fielder Who Changed the Game, Turns 54 Today

New Delhi: It was during the 1992 World Cup that the cricketing world witnessed a player who became best known not for his batting or bowling, but his extraordinary, almost superhuman fielding skills. South Africa’s veteran cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who turns 54 today, changed the face of fielding in cricket forever.

Many players in the game of cricket have established themselves by scoring tons of runs or amassing plenty of wickets. But very few have become well-known primarily for their fielding abilities.

Rhodes' fielding has long been a topic of conversation. It's astonishing how little is said about the runs he scored or the remarkable strike rate he had in his earlier days.

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If Shane Warne or Glenn McGrath are linked with bowling in cricket and Sachin Tendulkar with batting, then Rhodes is without a doubt the "Fielding God" of the game.

139 catches were taken by Rhodes during his career, which lasted from 1992 to 2003, in both the Test and ODI forms.

T20Is did not exist in those days. He ranks second among cricket players in terms of the number of run outs he has contributed to.

In his 52 Test matches and 245 One Day Internationals, the 54-year-old ran out batsmen 68 times. With 86 run out dismissals, Ricky Ponting tops the list.

Inzamam-ul-Haq was run out by Rhodes during the 1992 World Cup, catapulting him to worldwide prominence.

The player broke the stumps by plunging and leaping into the air (nearly flying horizontally to the ground) while running with the ball from point.

Because of his quickness, Rhodes raced to the stumps from point before Inzamam, who had moved just a few meters from the crease. He had complete control over the forward and backward points.

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By sending Sachin Tendulkar in the first-ever TV umpire decision, Rhodes also made history. He made fielding seem stylish and is still regarded as the best fielding coach in the world today.

Rhodes is currently the fielding coach of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) after spending a significant amount of time with Mumbai Indians (MI). In the ODI format, the right-handed hitter amassed 5935 runs at an average of 35.11 and a strike rate of 80.90.

In Test format, the middle-order batsman amassed 2532 runs at an average of 35.66. He scored 300 in two ODIs and three Tests.

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