Rahul Dravid’s contribution to Indian cricket will go down in history as one of the greatest. The former captain scored a whopping 13,288 runs in Test matches and 10,889 runs in One-Day Internationals.
While his achievements with the bat stand tall, Dravid’s contributions to the Indian team as a fielder were immense as well.
Dravid played 509 matches for India and took a total of 406 catches. In Test cricket, he holds the record for the most number of catches taken by a non-wicketkeeper.
Most catches in Test cricket by a non-keeper
In the early phase of his stint with the Indian team, Dravid spent a lot of time as a close-in catcher. And as his career progressed, he became a regular in the slip cordon. However, no matter where he stood – be it in catching positions or in the outfield – he was one of the most dependable fielders.
Dravid played the better part of his cricket along with Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, two of the greatest spinners India has ever produced. And with low, turning pitches on offer most of the times, the three players went on to form a formidable partnership.
Two things that stood out about Dravid as a fielder were his brilliant hands and his ability to anticipate. He was just as good with reflex catches as he was with diving efforts.
“You should enjoy it (being a slip fielder). You should want to be there. It is a position where you’ve got to concentrate the whole day, where you are always in the game,” Dravid had said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo in 2010.
“Then you’ve got to take a lot of catches. There is no substitute to taking a lot of a catches as a youngster if you want to do slip catching – you’ve got to catch, catch, catch. One of the important things I have found with slip catching is, you need to have relaxed hands. When an edge is coming towards you, the last thing you want to do is tighten up or freeze or snatch at the ball.”
Here’s a compilation of some of the best catches taken by Dravid by archivist Mainak Sinha: