5 best slip catchers for South Africa
South Africa has been a powerful force in cricket yet a big underachiever in the sport, especially when it comes to the big tournaments, earning the dubious tag of 'chokers' along the way.
Time away due to apartheid did them no favours and international cricket was left to rue the loss of quite a few talented players from the African nation.
However, they have always been a force to reckon with, setting high standards in all departments of the game, especially in fielding.
The name Jonty Rhodes springs to mind right at the onset when one talks about the greatest fielders in cricket history and there have been many more players from the Proteas who have set high standards in terms of ground fielding and catching.
Fielding at slips is a specialised position which needs much expertise and the Proteas have been blessed with many good fielders in this position as well. Let's take a look at the Top 5 slip catchers to have emerged from South Africa.
#5 Gary Kirsten
Apart from being a class act with the bat for South Africa, Gary Kirsten was an assured fielder in the slip cordon for South Africa.
Despite not being the agilest of fielders, Kirsten had a safe pair of hands, exuding confidence in the South African bowlers about the prospect of a wicket if they manage to get a nick off the batsmen.
From 101 Test matches and 185 ODIs, Kirsten took 83 and 60 catches respectively, with most of them coming in the slip cordon or in the gully region, including the famous one-handed diving catch to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar in the first Test of India's tour to South Africa in 1996/97.
Since retiring from the game as a player, Kirsten has taken up coaching, famously guiding India to World Cup success in 2011 and it is no surprise that he places emphasis on fielding as a vital element to the team's success.