There is no denying that any fielding position on a cricket field has advantages and disadvantages. Different parts of the ground necessitate different skills.
Having said that, fielding at short leg requires not just ability but also a significant degree of daring. The fundamental reason for this is that a short leg fielder has a limited amount of time to respond to a ball. Since the speed of the ball is inversely proportional to time, it is critical for a fielder fielding at short leg to always remain alert.
Over the years, the game of cricket has seen some of the finest short leg fielders. Here are the ten greatest short leg fielders of all time:
10. James Taylor
He only played 7 Tests for England, but his abilities as a short leg fielder were undeniable, thanks in large part to his reflexes, anticipation, and, of course, the ability to complete a catch with either hand. On the other hand, his low stature aided him much, and he could easily get down.
During England’s tour of South Africa in 2016, the catch he made off Hashim Amla at short leg established his standing as a player who was intended to make that position his own for years to come.
9. Joe Burns
Joe Burns may have been assigned to short leg fielder due to his inexperience, but in the Test matches he played for Australia, he demonstrated a natural fondness for the position.
Burns is agile, he can anticipate the trajectory of the ball, and most importantly, he is brave in the short leg fielding position.
8. Eknath Solkar
Eknath Solkar, a former Indian cricketer, was one of the world’s best short leg fielders. He was an exceptional fielder at the forward short leg position.
7. Gus Logie
Gus Logie was an exceptional fielder at the forward short leg position. He’d be stationed directly at the batsman’s feet, making it tough for them to get past him.
6. Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook became one of England’s greatest short leg fielders early in his career and continued to field there until he was appointed captain in 2012.
Cook, like his batsmanship, wasn’t the most acrobatic or agile of short leg fielders, but he was efficient. If a chance presented itself, Cook was more than capable of pouching it without much difficulty.
His presence in short leg comforted spinners like Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar that if a chance was provided, it was unlikely to be dropped.
5. Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina, a former Indian cricketer, is noted for his energy and excitement on the field. He was the epitome of what a fielder should be.
His receptions at the backward point or cover are still remembered, especially those stunning one-handers he made look so effortless. His quick reflexes at short mid-wicket and short leg made him an important member of the Indian side.
4. Andrew Symonds
Andrew Symonds, an Australian all-rounder, was a terrific fielder in his own right. His fielding abilities at short cover, short mid-on, short mid-off, and short leg positions were legendary, and he was best renowned for his direct hits.
He possessed an extraordinary ability to foresee plays and execute flawless run-outs in seemingly impossible scenarios.
3. Ian Bell
Right-hander Ian Bell was the pinnacle of elegance and smooth stroke play as a batsman, becoming one of England’s mainstays in the noughties and beyond.
His retirement has undoubtedly created a vacuum in the English batting order, but what is rarely discussed is the fact that his presence at short leg is frequently missed by the squad these days.
Bell had the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and, more significantly, the reflexes to go for a catch or get out of the way if a batsman played a particularly well-timed shot.
Getting out of a well-hit shot is another key ability for the short leg fielder, as is understanding when to stay in position. Bell was excellent at this, and he served England well for many years.
2. Brian Close
To appreciate Brian Close’s ability as a cricketer and short leg fielder, it’s crucial to remember that when he fielded at the position, there were no helmets. Close used to be in grave danger every time he fielded at short leg, and many considered him to be the embodiment of bravery.
Brian Close never backed down when faced with a bouncer bombardment from Michael Holding at his prime without much protection towards the end of his career when fielding at short leg.
1. David Boon
Boon is regarded as not only Australia’s greatest short leg fielder but also among the best of all time, along with Eknath Solkar. He was noted for his exceptional ability to foresee the path of the ball, as well as his incredible reflexes that allowed him to respond fast.
Furthermore, Boon could field at both short leg and silly point. However, as Boon has stated regarding his abilities as a short leg fielder, he wanted to be there and relished the trials that he experienced.
He was best renowned for his deadly partnership with Shane Warne, and he took some remarkable catches at short leg and silly point.