Ross Taylor © Getty Images
Ross Taylor (Left) has taken 101 catches from 60 Tests at 1.68 catches per Test © Getty Images

Ross Taylor completed taking 100 catches in his test career in the third test against Pakistan at Sharjah, thereby becoming the second-fastest specialist fielder to the feat. Bharath Seervi lists the fastest fielders to the 100-Test-catch mark.

Ross Taylor took his 100th catch as a fielder when he caught Pakistan’s Rahat Ali off the bowling of Mark Craig at slip on November 28, 2014 at Sharjah. Taylor was appearing in his 60th Test. Grabbing 100 catches as a fielder in just 60 tests is a remarkable feat: only one other person has reached there faster.

Taylor came into the Test with 98 catches from 59 tests. He caught Azhar Ali to take reach 99 before he eventually caught Rahat Ali. He ended the innings by catching Yasir Shah as well, and his current tally reads 101. All his three catches came off Craig.

The only fielder who reached to the milestone in fewer matches than Taylor was Bob Simpson, who took his 100th catch in his 54th Test and finished with 110 catches from 62 Tests. Taylor is only the second fielder from New Zealand to take 100 or more Test catches, the only other one being is Stephen Fleming (171 catches from 111 Tests). Fleming had reached the landmark in his 68th Test.  The table below lists details of all specialist fielders with 100 or more catches.

Number of Tests to take 100 Test catches as a fielder in Test cricket (all fielders with 100 or more Test catches)

Fielder Tests
Bob Simpson 54
Ross Taylor 60
Stephen Fleming 68
Ian Chappell 69
Greg Chappell 69
Mark Taylor 71
Graeme Smith 74
Brian Lara 75
Mahela Jayawardene 76
Wally Hammond 76
Rahul Dravid 79
Matthew Hayden 80
Garry Sobers 82
Ricky Ponting 84
Colin Cowdrey 84
Andrew Strauss 84
Carl Hooper 85
Mark Waugh 86
Michael Clarke 86
Ian Botham 87
Younis Khan 91
Mohammad Azharuddin 91
Allan Border 92
VVS Laxman 95
Graham Thorpe 95
Vivian Richards 100
Jacques Kallis 104
Alastair Cook 106
Graham Gooch 110
Sunil Gavaskar 115
Shane Warne 116
Steve Waugh 140
Sachin Tendulkar 154

The first specialist fielder to 100 Test catches was Wally Hammond, who reached there in 1939. Taylor became the 33rd man to the landmark. Viv Richards took his 100th catch of his career in exactly 100 Tests.

Simpson took the least matches (54) while Sachin Tendulkar took the most matches (154). The difference is exactly a hundred. Taylor has 101 catches in his 60th Test. Let us see the most catches in first 60 Tests as fielder.

Taking 75 or more catches as a fielder in first 60 Tests

Fielder Catches
Bob Simpson 106
Ross Taylor 101 (currently playing 60th Test)
Stephen Fleming 91
Ian Chappell 90
Greg Chappell 87
Tony Greig 87 (58 Tests)
Graeme Hick 84
Paul Collingwood 82
Brian Lara 81
Mahela Jayawardene 80
Mark Taylor 79
Wally Hammond 78
Garry Sobers 78
Ricky Ponting 78
Mark Waugh 78
Ian Redpath 75

Tony Greig took 87 catches in from 58 Test matches, but never played again. Graeme Hick (90 catches from 65 Tests), Paul Collingwood (95 from 68) and Ian Redpath (83 from 66) are the others on the above list not to reach the 100-catch landmark.

Highest rate of catches per Test as a fielder in Tests (Min. 50 catches)

Fielder Tests Inns Cat Cat/Inn Cat/Test
Eknath Solkar 27 50 53 1.06 1.96
Bob Simpson 62 117 110 0.94 1.77
Darren Sammy 38 68 65 0.96 1.71
Ross Taylor 60 110 101 (ongoing) 0.92 1.68
Bryan Young 35 58 54 0.93 1.54
Stephen Fleming 111 199 171 0.86 1.54
Mark Taylor 104 197 157 0.80 1.51
Tony Greig 58 107 87 0.81 1.50
Graeme Smith 117 225 169 0.75 1.44
Mark  Waugh 128 245 181 0.74 1.41

Taylor has taken 101 catches from 60 Tests at 1.68 catches per Test. This ratio puts him fourth in the list of fielders with a minimum of 50 Test catches. The table is topped by Eknath Solkar, who claimed 53 catches from only 27 Tests at almost two catches per Tests! His rate of 1.96 per match is the proverbial miles clear of the others.

Number of fielders from each team with 100 catches

Team Fielders with 100 catches Highest
Australia 11 Ricky Ponting (196)
Bangladesh Mohammad Ashraful (25)
England 7 Andrew Strauss (121)
India 5 Rahul Dravid (210)
New Zealand 2 Stephen Fleming (171)
Pakistan 1 Younis Khan (104)
South Africa 2 Jacques Kallis (200)
Sri Lanka 1 Mahela Jayawardene (205)
West Indies 4 Brian Lara (164)
Zimbabwe Alistair Campbell (60)

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SeerviBharath and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeerviCricket)