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India’s former skipper Rahul Dravid was brilliant in the slips. Dravid had also kept wickets in his junior days but then he had to give up the gloves when he was 17-18. The Karnataka batsman, who is well known to be a great team man, revealed that he was not great with his spin bowling. Subsequently, he wanted to contribute to the team’s success and he thought he could that by taking catches.
Ergo, Dravid started working hard on his catching and he went to become the greatest slip fielder ever. Dravid mostly used to stand at first slip and took many catches in his illustrious career.
Rahul Dravid always had safe pair of hands
Not only as a slip fielder, Dravid used to field at silly point and short leg in his formative years and he was brilliant while fielding close to the batsman. The former Indian captain galloped 210 catches as an outfielder in 164 Test matches, which is most for any player.
Dravid added that he was not a natural at catching and thus he had to work hard to develop his catching skills. The former right-handed batsman stated that catching was more about finding the right balance and making sure one is in a good position. Dravid added that one of the most technical help which he received was the weight should be on the ball of his feet.
“I love being involved,” Dravid said while talking on Lesson Learnt with the Great podcast. “I wasn’t a good enough bowler to be able to contribute with the ball. I tried my best. So I sort of figured out ‘How do you contribute to the team? What do you do?’. I mean, sitting there as a batsman, what can I do really well, and one of the things was, if I catch well, it’s a contribution. You feel you’re involved, you’re playing a part.
“I had to work on it, I don’t think I was as much a natural, but I had to practise a lot of slip catching, and one of the really good pieces of technical advice that I received early on was to ensure that the weight was on the balls of my feet and ensuring that my balance was really good as a fielder, and ensuring I got into a really good position.”
Dravid added that he learned a lot from Australian great Bob Simpson, who served as a consultant to the team in 1998-99. The former skipper also revealed that he noticed the likes of Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor and Shane Warne, who all did a fine job for the Australia team in the slips.
Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid also kept the wickets in 73 ODI matches in which he took 71 catches and affected 14 stumpings. Dravid took a total of 196 catches in his ODI career and if his wicket-keeping catches are excluded, then he took 125 catches as an outfielder.