The Pakistan cricket team has never been recognized for its fielding skills, and with fielding becoming increasingly important in the modern game, the Men in Green must continue to improve in this area.
The emergence of Shadab Khan, Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, and Fakhar Zaman, all of whom are considered outstanding fielders, has undoubtedly altered the way fielding is viewed in this part of the world. Let’s take a look at the top five Green Jersy fielders:
1. Imran Nazir
When he first joined the team in 1999, the swashbuckling opener was a breath of fresh air. Imran’s batting talent is well-known across the world, but his fielding provided a much-needed boost to an otherwise deficient fielding unit.
Imran was recognized as one of the best cricket fielders in the world. His catching skill was second to none, and his fiery personality complimented his team’s strong bowling by saving crucial runs.
Imran Nazir is widely recognized as one of Pakistan’s best fielders, and he will go down in history as one of the game’s best fielders.
In his brief but successful international career, Imran took 26 ODI catches and 11 T20I catches.
2. Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan is an important member of the limited-overs setup for the national team. The exciting all-rounder is defined as a “four-dimensional” player with exceptional bowling, batting, fielding, and leadership abilities.
Since his international debut in 2017, the 23-year-old has seen a meteoric rise. While his batting and bowling abilities were renowned, his fielding abilities were as impressive.
Shadab’s ability to understand the game and position himself perfectly to capture catches makes him one of the most exciting fielders in the world.
Pakistan’s limited-overs vice-captain is fast on the field and possesses a safe pair of hands. In his brief international career, he has already taken 36 catches and will take many more in the years ahead.
3. Shoaib Malik
At 40 years old, Pakistan’s senior all-rounder is as safe a fielder as he was when he first got into the team at the age of 19. Malik is a fitness role model for young cricketers, with high fitness standards and the ability to assess the situation.
The experienced all-rounder possesses one of the safest sets of hands in international cricket and is lightning fast as a boundary rider. Malik’s fielding ability is so high that he is still considered one of the best in Pakistan cricket.
In T20Is, Malik has the most catches for the Men in Green, while in ODIs, he is fourth on the list. In international cricket, he has over 150 catches.
4. Fawad Alam
Fawad Alam was as quick and as agile as any fielder in global cricket during his best years. Fawad made his international debut in 2007 and was regarded as a bit-part player throughout his early years in international cricket.
In the early stages of his career, his superb catching abilities and accurate throws made him one of the finest fielders in the world.
Despite his amazing fielding skills, Fawad has only taken 30 international catches.
5. Ijaz Ahmed
Ijaz was an exception in a period when fielding was not valued as highly as the other two departments. Early in his career, Ijaz was frequently placed inside the circle at the square position and mid-on before being moved to the key position of point and gully. His outstanding performance on the field has established him as one of Pakistan’s best fielders.
In a career spanning more than 15 years, the 53-year-old has played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs for the Men in Green. Before retirement from international cricket in 2001, he had taken 135 catches.