The batting and the bowling have often been in the spotlight as the game is largely dominated by these two disciplines, but time and again the tournament has also seen some exceptional, jaw-dropping fielding efforts which have left the fans awestruck and also proved how crucial this third aspect of the game really is, by changing the course of the game.
Be it youngsters or the veterans of the game, high-flying, gravity-defying catches by the players have been a constant in the league, stunning the fans and the pundits alike from time to time.
The 2022 edition has been no different. Just 22 matches into the season (till April 12, 2022) and we have already seen some extraordinary blinders on the field.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at some of the best grabs in the competition so far in no particular order:
Ambati Rayudu (Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The one-handed ripper from Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 22 is one of the finest catches in the history of the competition.
At 36, veteran Rayudu on Tuesday defied age and gravity and produced a miraculous effort that forced everyone watching the game to jump out of their chairs.
The catch was taken in the 16th over of the RCB chase when Akash Deep pressed forward to gently push a Ravindra Jadeja delivery. Undone by the extra bounce, the ball lobbed up in the air as soon as it hit Akash’s bat.
Rayudu, who at that time was positioned at short extra-cover, went air-borne to his right, got parallel to the ground and plucked the ball out of thin air. Grabbing the ball with just three fingers, Rayudu landed on his elbow but still managed to hold on to the ball.
Here’s a look at the stunning effort from the CSK veteran:
Ambati Rayudu Just took the catch of the season #Rayudu #CSKvsRCB #IPL2022 #Cskforever @roydoaumbeti https://t.co/ukI9ynwBXK
— Mr.shaun❤🇮🇳 (@Shaun81172592) 1649787816000
Kuldeep Yadav (Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders)
Two years on the sidelines. Rejected, dejected and low on confidence, but Kuldeep Yadav is on an unbelievable journey of showcasing one of the strongest comebacks.
Currently Kuldeep is the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the 15th edition of the tournament (till Apr 12 2022) and his sky-high confidence went to the next level when he pulled off a sensational catch off his own bowling in Match 19 against his former team – the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The catch was taken in the 16th over of KKR’s chase when Umesh Yadav tried to slog a tossed-up googly from Kuldeep. As Umesh failed to connect and got a top edge, the ball shot straight up. Realising the fact that there was no fieler in the inner circle on the on-side, Kuldeep took on the task of taking the catch himself. Soon after completing his follow-through, Kuldeep ran straight to mid-wicket, judged the trajectory of the falling ball to perfection and completed a terrific catch lunging forward.
Kuldeep’s reaction said it all after the catch as the commentators and the fans found it hard to believe what the wrist-spinner had produced off his own bowling.
As an elated Kuldeep celebrated with fist pumps and cries of jubilation, his stunned teammates gathered around him to congratulate him for his superhuman effort.
Watch Kuldeep’s catch here:
What a catch by Kuldeep Yadav https://t.co/aWXZZzYg59
— That-Cricket-Girl (@imswatib) 1649598745000
Rahul Tripathi (Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Titans)
“Are you kidding me? I want an action replay already,” shouted a stunned Danny Morrison in the comm box as Rahul Tripathi took a blinder right at the start of Match 21 between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Gujarat Titans.
The catch was taken in the third over when Titans’ Shubman Gill over crunched a loose length ball outside off from Bhuvneshwar Kumar through the covers. It would have been a sure shot boundary, but for the flying Tripathi. Rahul, who was stationed inside the circle at covers, went air-borne, dived to his left and completed a stunner mid-air.
Putting both his arms up in celebration, Rahul’s effort was followed by a huge roar from the crowd and stunned expressions of excitement by the commentators on-air.
Watch Rahul Tripathi’s sensational catch here:
Rahul tripathi stunning catch… #GTvsSRH #SRHvGT https://t.co/UA0focDkgi
— Chinthakindhi Ramudu (O- Negitive) (@RAMURAVANA) 1649687180000
Shubman Gill (Gujarat Titans vs Lucknow Super Giants)
As far as fielding efforts are concerned, Gujarat Titans’ Shubman Gill set the IPL 2022 edition on fire with his unbelievable fielding effort right at the start of the competition. Gill grabbed a heart-stopping catch during his franchise’s first ever match.
Playing against their fellow IPL debutants, the Lucknow Super Giants, the Titans got off to a terrific start in the competition, courtesy a fiery opening burst from Mohammed Shami. But things got even better for the team as Gill clinched an almost impossible catch, lifting his team’s morale to new heights.
As Varun Aaron tested LSG’s Evin Lewis with a bouncer, the left-hander went for an expansive pull shot but failed to middle it. As the ball went high up in the air, Gill, who was stationed at mid-wicket, started to run back. Covering close to 20 yards while keeping his eyes on the ball, Gill took the catch over his shoulders and cushioned it, landing on his forearms and then rolling over.
Watch Shubman Gill’s incredible catch here:
CATCH THAT, Shubman 👏👏ICYMI – An outstanding leaping catch from @ShubmanGill that ended Evin Lewis’s stay out the… https://t.co/GmeoE7K0dS
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1648479950000
Titans eventually went on to win that match by 5 wickets.
Liam Livingstone (Punjab Kings vs Chennai Super Kings)
Big-money player Liam Livingstone, who was bought by Punjab Kings in the last auction for a whopping INR 11.50 crore had one of his best nights in the IPL ever in the 11th match of the season against Chennai Super Kings.
After cracking a power-packed 30-ball 60, Livingstone also grabbed a couple of wickets, almost single-handedly guiding his side to a comprehensive 54-run victory against the defending champions.
While defending the total of 180, Livingstone in his second over, produced a stunning effort to dismiss CSK all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for a first-ball duck.
As Bravo tried to defend the last ball of the over from Livingstone, he unintentionally pushed the ball too hard. Livingstone, showing terrific reflexes, dived to his left and grabbed a stupendous one handed catch off his own bowling, stunning everyone around.
(Photo credit: BCCI/IPL)
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Livingstone eventually went on to grab the Player of the Match award in that clash for his 3 dimensional efforts.