Although the backward point position never got much of a currency in Test cricket, over the years, it has become one of the most important positions as far as limited-overs cricket is concerned.
Since batsmen are forced to take more risks and attack deliveries outside off stump at all times, the backward point fielder becomes a vital member of the fielding unit. However, at the same time, only the very best fielders are stationed at that position.
Hard cuts along the ground or in the air need great reflexes on the part of the fielder if they are to be stopped or caught. On the other hand, the fielder often needs to anticipate the objectives of the batsman in order to succeed at backward point. Moreover, cut shots can often spin awkwardly in the air or off the surface, which is another challenge for the fielder.
Excellent reflexes, soft hands, outstanding catching abilities and anticipating the batsman's actions are some of the most important factors that go into the makings of a top fielder. All those skills are necessary when one fields at backward point and over the years, plenty of fielders have defined that position in limited-overs cricket.
Here is a look at 5 of the very best.
#5 Paul Collingwood
Former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood made things look remarkably easy at backward point and over the course of a relatively long limited-overs career, he emerged as one of the all-time best fielders at that position.
The hardest cuts from batsmen were stopped by him quite consistently and in addition to that, he could dive full length on either side in order to prevent boundaries. Collingwood was also capable of taking spectacular catches. He was perhaps England's first fielder who could hold his own against the very best in the world and with him patrolling that key area, batsmen often had second thoughts about going for an extra run or playing shots in the air.