It is indeed a privilege and an exciting piece of news to read when Jonty Rhodes, who undoubtedly happens to be the greatest fielder of all time, picks one from his side. In an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwean cricketer Pommie Mbangwa, Rhodes did when Mbangwa asked to name one.
Without wasting much time, Jonty Rhodes went for his fellow countryman Ab de Villiers. The former South African captain has displayed some superhuman fielding efforts for the national team as well as for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. One such instance occurred in IPL 2019 when De Villiers plucked a one-handed stunner a few inches inside the boundary, timing his jump to perfection to dismiss Sunrisers Hyderabad’s, Alex Hales.
Speaking about Ab de Villiers, Jonty Rhodes conceded that he could field at all positions like behind the stumps, at slip, at mid-off, and long-on. He went on to mention Andrew Symonds, who had a massive body but managed to move around exceptionally well, possessing a strong arm.
“The greatest fielder of all time? Ab de Villiers. He is a wicket-keeper, he is at slip, he fields at mid-off, long-on, the guy is the greatest of all time. Andrew Symonds was the first guy I saw who could field at every position. He could field at the boundary as he had a strong arm. For a big unit like Andrew Symonds to dive at full length, it took good amount of effort.” the 50-year old stated.
He reads the game very well: Jonty Rhodes on De Villiers
The Natal-born fielder earlier mentioned Suresh Raina as an incredible one, who would hardly miss direct hits. Further elaborating on that, the retired cricketer feels that De Villiers’ reading of the game is magnificent and he moves so well. Rhodes went on to say that since he is also a very good batsman, it helps him in reading the situation well.
“I have loved Suresh Raina, but the best fielder I have seen has to be Ab de Villiers, he just moves so well, I think someone like Ben Stokes is at all hotspots, Ab de Villiers reads the game as well, and he is a batsman so that helps him in reading the game, from my perspective, De Villiers has to be the best fielder.” Rhodes added.