Top 5 Cricket Teams with the Best Catch Efficiency in ODIs Since the 2019 World Cup

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In the realm of cricket, batting and bowling traditionally steal the limelight. However, over the past two decades, fielding skills have risen to prominence. Teams no longer hesitate to bench a formidable batter or a top-notch bowler due to subpar fielding abilities. The adage, ‘Catches win matches,’ resonates deeply in cricket, where catching proficiency can significantly enhance a team’s chances of victory.

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Post the 2019 World Cup, catch efficiency in ODIs has become a critical metric. Surprisingly, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka occupy the bottom three spots in this regard. Indian fielders, in particular, drew attention when they dropped three catches during the Asia Cup 2023 match against Nepal on September 4.

As per data displayed by broadcaster Star Sports during the match, Team India’s catch efficiency rate stands at 75.1% since the 2019 mega event. Only Afghanistan lags behind, with a 71.2% catch efficiency. In this article, we explore the top five teams excelling in catching prowess in ODIs.

Australia – 78.5% Catch Efficiency
Former world champions Australia clinch the fifth spot on our list. Their squad boasts some of the world’s finest fielders, and they have upheld a catch efficiency rate of 78.5% in ODIs since the 2019 Cricket World Cup. This means they drop less than 23% of the catches that come their way. Australia’s strong catching game has contributed significantly to their ODI victories over the past three years.

Sri Lanka – 78.8% Catch Efficiency
Despite failing to secure direct entry into the 2023 World Cup, Sri Lanka impresses in the realm of catching in the 50-over format. Their undefeated performance in the 2023 World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe earlier this year underscores their dedication to fielding. Sri Lanka’s fielders have honed their catching skills, resulting in an impressive 78.8% efficiency rate.

New Zealand – 80.9% Catch Efficiency
New Zealand’s absence from the top two might raise eyebrows, given their reputation as one of the world’s premier fielding sides. With agile fielders rarely dropping catches in any cricket format, the Blackcaps maintain an impressive 80.9% catch efficiency since the 2019 World Cup. This equates to fewer than two out of 10 catches being spilled in ODIs.

Pakistan – 81.6% Catch Efficiency
Pakistan, renowned for producing fast bowlers and quality batsmen, historically struggled with fielding. In the past, their fielders often featured in lists of ‘funniest or easiest catch drops.’ However, since the 2019 World Cup, Pakistan’s fielding has undergone a transformation, achieving an 81.6% catch efficiency, marking a remarkable improvement.

England – 82.8% Catch Efficiency
Reigning world champions England have not only dominated white-ball cricket since 2019 due to their aggressive play but also because of their exceptional fielding unit. Holding the top spot on our list, England boasts an 82.8% catch efficiency rate. This means they drop less than 18% of the catches that come their way. As they defend their title at the 2023 Cricket World Cup, maintaining this high catch efficiency rate will be crucial to their success.

In modern cricket, where every opportunity counts, these teams have demonstrated that catching proficiency can be a game-changer. Catching isn’t just a skill; it’s a strategic advantage that can determine the outcome of matches.