The Indian Premier League(IPL) has witnessed some breathtaking fielding efforts and striking catches ever since its inception in 2008. The quick nature of the format means that every single run saved and every catch taken could be match-turning ones.
Over the years, fielding has become an important area of focus in cricket much like batting and bowling. With specialised fielding coaches and well panned out fielding drills, players cannot stay be below par fielders and remain in the team.
The strong emphasis on fielding skills has also improved the standard of catching and field all over the World. In an attractive event like the IPL, where the best in the world of cricket participate, the standard of fielding is even higher.
From brilliant one-handed takes to tag catches, cricket has taken fielding to an altogether different level and IPL hasn't been immune to these changes. The Indian gala event has witnessed some startling catches and here we take a look at five of the best among them.
#5 Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians) vs Delhi Daredevils, April 2013
At 40, former Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting showed that he had lost none of his agility with a spectacular catch at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He was the skipper for Mumbai in the game and pulled off one of the best efforts in the field in IPL when he had Unmukt Chand caught at cover off Harbhajan Singh.
Mumbai had batted first and posted 209 on the board courtesy Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 74. In reply, Delhi openers, David Warner and Unmukt Chand, were greeted by Harbhajan, who opened the bowling attack for Mumbai.
In the very first ball of the innings, Harbhajan forced Unmukt Chand to play a shot to leg side that took a leading edge on its way to cover. It seemed to be heading to land safely when Ponting leapt out of nowhere to pluck a special one-handed catch after nearly slipping during the initial effort.