London: Australian Twenty20 skipper Michael Clarke has made it clear to his players that everyone has to contribute with bat, ball and in the field, and stressed to the squad the importance of being known as the best fielding team in the world
Clarke said: “Another great summer of cricket has drawn to a close. The Twenty20 wins we had over West Indies were great as every game we play galvanises us as a group ahead of the World Twenty in May.
With two Twenty20 games in New Zealand, the squad really has to continue to develop momentum and play good cricket with the short amount of games we will play together prior to then.”
“Our fielding last Sunday night in Hobart, highlighted by the enthusiastic and skillful efforts of young Steve Smith, was a step in the right direction. As a team we can’t emphasise enough our support of each other in the field,” FOX Sports quoted Clarke, as saying.
Clarke said that all great teams have had fantastic fielders. The best he had come across in recent years would be:
1. Ricky Ponting. In all forms of the game, in all aspects of fielding, Ricky would be my No.1. His consistency over a long period of time has been outstanding.
2. Andrew Symonds. Symmo is an athlete first and foremost with fantastic coordination and a great arm. He had speed across the field.
3. Herschelle Gibbs. Australians probably better remember one of Hershelle’s blunders in the 1999 World Cup, but I haven’t seen a more dependable contributor in opposition teams. Herschelle has not got the praise he deserves for his excellent fielding exploits.
4. AB DeVilliers. A fantastic fieldsman. I have seen some amazing catches and ground fielding from him. Jonty Rhodes has left a great legacy in South African fielding standards and AB has the enthusiasm and class so wonderfully role-modelled by Jonty. He is as gifted as anyone I have seen.
5. Paul Collingwood. Has played a key leadership role in stressing the importance of fielding to the England team. He has great hands. (ANI)