Rahul Dravid's tips during IPL helped: Ajinkya Rahane
Mumbai lad Ajinkya, who became the first fielder in Test history to take eight catches in a game on Friday, thanks Rajasthan Royals mentor and slip specialist Rahul Dravid
Galle: Pleased with his world record feat of eight catches in a Test match, Ajinkya Rahane on Friday credited former India skipper Rahul Dravid for guiding him on slip catching and overall fielding.
Rahane on Friday became the first fielder in Test history to take eight catches in a game, achieving the feat in the ongoing first cricket match against Sri Lanka.
In full flight: Ajinkya Rahane dives to take a catch to dismiss Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara on Day Three of the first Test in Sri Lanka yesterday. Sangakkara scored 40 in his last Test innings at Galle. PIC/AFP
“We had a very good talk during IPL about what he used to do when he used to stand in the slips,” revealed Rahane on working closely with Dravid, who used to man the slip cordon for India during his playing days.
“He (Dravid) told me that focus and concentration were really important things. In Tests sometimes the ball will not come for a long time and suddenly you have to grab that one chance that comes. That temperament has to be there and I have been working on my slip catching and my overall fielding,” he said at the post match press conference.
Rahane said he wasn’t aware of his world record feat until his teammates told him about it. “I didn’t know until Murali Vijay and Umesh Yadav came on during a break, and told me that this is a world record for you,” said a happy Rahane.
“I was quite surprised, I didn’t know about it. I feel in this team, any player can stand anywhere. Every individual has the ability to stand anywhere and all are brilliant fielders.
So I normally stand at gully for fast bowlers and this time Virat Kohli told me that I will stand at slip for spinners. So I have been practicing that before the Test series.
Even during the series we have been taking 50 to 100 catches everyday. So that’s working for us,” he added. Rahane said his sole intention was to stay completely focussed while fielding in the slips.
Most catches in a Test Match
8: Ajinkya Rahane (India) vs Sri Lanka, Galle, 2015
7: Greg Chappell (Australia) vs England, Perth 1974
7: Yajurvindra Singh (India) vs England, Bangalore, 1977
7: Hashan Tillakaratne (SL) vs New Zealand, Colombo, 1992
7: Stephen Fleming (NZ) vs Zimbabwe, Harare, 1997
7: Matthew Hayden (Australia) vs Sri Lanka, Galle, 2004