|Anaru Kitchen with a young Aces fan|
He is extremely quick, and at times seems to sense where the ball is going before it even leaves the bat. The result is that he has saved a number of runs, and made a significant number of catches for Auckland. He took more catches last season than any of the wicket-keepers. In fact, he took double the number of catches of the most prolific (Kruger van Wyk).
Sometimes outfield catching is merely a case of being in the right place at the right time. In Kitchen's case it is more that he covered so much ground, so quickly, that he caught batsmen who thought they had safely hit the ball into a gap. In one game he took a catch at deep backward square leg, while fielding at a wide mid on.
His ability to take catches has seen him placed high on the list of the most consistent catchers in T20 history:
To go with his remarkable catching he is also a competent batsman. His career started with a hiss and a roar, scoring 33*, 31, 0, 31, 61* in his first 5 matches, followed by a slump as bowlers figured out where to bowl to him. This often happens to players who have immediate success when they make the step up to the next level. The difference between good players and the rest is how they respond. Kitchen has found a way to score runs, faster and more consistently after his lean patch. His career strike rate has risen above 125 and his average is now over 25 (as shown in the graph below. He still has some work to go before his batting alone would be a reason to select him, but when combined his fielding prowess, it resulted in his being named in the 30 man New Zealand training squad for World T20.
Anaru Kitchen is someone to keep an eye on in the Champions League T20, both with the bat and in the outfield.