Fielders can be underrated in ODI cricket but all it takes is one catch to turn a game so let’s take a moment to look at the catching records in this format.
Most Catches in ODI – Fielding Records
1. Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene currently holds the record for most ODI catches and his mark of 218 is more than 50 clear of the man in second place. That’s a huge margin and one that suggests he may never be overtaken.
He played 448 matches in 17 years so he had plenty of time to reach this level but Jayawardene was always a safe pair of hands and once took four catches in an innings
2. Ricky Ponting
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting is in second place with 160 catches in 375 One Day Internationals. The man known as ‘Punter’ fielded mostly at backward point which is one of the most difficult areas in limited overs cricket, so that is really an impressive total.
3. Mohammad Azharuddin
At number three on this list is Mohammad Azharuddin of India who has 332 ODI catches from 156 games. Like Jayawardene at the top, the former national captain has four catches in a match and was one of the best Indian fielders in all formats.
4. Sachin Tendulkar
The great Sachin Tendulkar played more ODIs (463) than any other fielder on this list but that shouldn’t detract from a proud record of 140 catches. Tendulkar also took four in an innings and could field anywhere in the 30-yard circle.
5. Ross Taylor
With 139 catches from just 233 matches, Ross Taylor’s catching ratio is one of the best in ODIs. He was 37 when these records were listed but he isn’t officially retired and may still have time to overtake Tendulkar who is just one catch ahead.
6. Stephen Fleming
New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming led the side through one of their most successful eras and, while he was a respected captain, he was also a brilliant player in his own right.
He’s known primarily for his batting but, in 280 ODIs, Fleming claimed 133 catches.
7. Virat Kohli
One player who is certain to climb up this list is Virat Kohli. As of November 2021, these charts show that India’s skipper has 132 catches from 254 One Day Internationals, so he is just one place behind Stephen Fleming.
At the age of 33, he still has time to go much higher and could have some of the other players on this list in his sights.
8. Jacques Kallis
South Africa’s Jacques Kallis is considered by many to be the greatest all-rounder in the history of the game so it’s no surprise to see him here.
We tend to focus on his batting and bowling but Kallis was a brilliant fielder and, in 328 ODIs, he claimed 131 catches.
9. Younis Khan
He has the same number of catches as the man in tenth place but Pakistan’s Younis Khan played fewer games so he ranks more highly.
In 265 ODIs, Younis claimed 130 catches at a rate of nearly one every two games. He also joins other players on this list with a highest return of four catches in a match.
10. Muttiah Muralitharan
It may be a surprise to see Sri Lanka’s Murali on this list. He wasn’t the best ground fielder but, when the ball was in the air, he had a safe pair of hands.
Known as one of the best spin bowlers of all time, Muralitharan also took 130 catches in 350 One Day Internationals.
The Best Catches
Now that you know who caught most balls in ODI, it is interesting to compare these figures with our top 15 list of the best catches in cricket. Although, obviously Ricky Ponting is present on both lists, but as you will see there is no direct correlation between a large number of catches and the surprise factor or beauty of catches.