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Ranking Five Best Slip Fielders in Modern Test Cricket

In Test cricket, where patience and precision are paramount, slip fielding emerges as a critical component of a team's defensive strategy. Positioned strategically behind the batsman, slip fielders play a pivotal role in capitalizing on any edges or mistimed shots.

The slip cordon, comprising skilled fielders, acts as a safety net for the bowlers, aiming to dismiss batsmen through catches behind the wicket.

With the red ball swinging and seaming, slip fielders must maintain razor-sharp focus and impeccable reflexes.

The slips are often the first line of defence against the batsman, making exceptional catching abilities and a keen eye for the ball indispensable.

In the nuanced realm of Test cricket, where every opportunity counts, adept slip fielding becomes an indispensable weapon in a team's quest for success. This article covers 5 of the best sli[ fielders in modern Test Cricket.

5) Dhananjaya de Silva – Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva comes in the 5th spot when it comes to fielding at the slips. He is athleticism inspires the other Sri Lankan cricketers who struggle in international cricket. Sri Lankan cricket is currently struggling with the quality of players and players like De Silva are a ray of hope for the whole country. Dhananjaya de Silva currently stands at 64 catches in slip in Test cricket.

4) Ajinkye Rahane – India

Ajiknkye Rahane is one of the best Test players from the Indian sub-continent who has performed exceptionally well with his bat in the red-ball format.

However, very less cricket fans are aware of the fact that he is one of the best slip fielders in the world. Rahane has caught players like Moeen Ali, Peter Handscomb, and Marcus Harris multiple times in the past and was always a threat in the slip.

Overall, Ajinkye Rahane has taken 163 catches in his 192 appearances. When it comes to the Test format, Rahane has taken 99 catches in 82 fixtures.

3) Ross Taylor – New Zealand

Often overshadowed by his batting prowess, Ross Taylor's brilliance in the slip cordon deserves its spotlight. Boasting a remarkable success rate exceeding 75%, he ranks among the finest modern slip fielders.

His calm anticipation, reflexes like a cat, and safe hands have earned him the reputation of a silent assassin in the slips. Taylor's ability to pluck seemingly impossible catches adds another dimension to his cricketing repertoire.

Whether it's a sharp edge flying off the bat or a gentle snick, his reactions are spontaneous and his hands rarely betray him.

2) Joe Root – England

Joe Root's claim to the “master of Test cricket” title rests on undeniable achievements. Currently the second-highest run-scorer for England and tenth worldwide, his elegant strokeplay and adaptability across conditions have mesmerized fans for over a decade.

However, Joe Root is also a crucial player for England in taking catches in the slip. In 2019, Root took his 100th catch and as of now, he stands at 183 slip catches in Test fixtures. At his age, Root is still active and is expected to continue surprising the batters at the slip for a long time.

1) Steve Smith – Australia

Steven Smith reigns supreme in the slip cordon, etching his name among Test cricket's elite catchers. With a staggering 173 grabs, he stands tall as the only non-wicketkeeper in the top 10 for slip catches.

His anticipation, reflexes, and calm demeanour create a near-impenetrable wall, frustrating batsmen and delighting teammates. However, despite his catching prowess, a unique milestone eludes Smith – a century of catches in a single Test position.

He currently shares the record for most catches in a single position (first slip) with 70, alongside the legendary Mark Waugh.

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