March 27, 2009 7:11:06 pm
Former Australian star Mark Waugh feels that Rahul Dravid is not a natural slip catcher but has a great concentration which has taken him on the brink of becoming the player with most catches in Test cricket.
Dravid and Waugh are now levelled on 181 catches and the former Indian captain is certain to get past the Australian anytime.
Dravid is good but he’s got a funny style. He’s not a natural catcher but he’s got great concentration and he’s in the right place at the right time, Waugh said.
You might only get one ball in the field all day and you’ve got to catch it an inch off the ground. That’s a concentration thing,switching on and off between deliveries, he added.
Dravid has taken the vast majority of his catches from spinners — 99 from Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh alone — a feat that Waugh rates highly because there is often less time to react.
Waugh,however,was not ready to judge a slipper on the great catches they take but on the number of catches they dropped.
I actually think they should have a statistic of how many catches you drop,like baseball – that’s probably the best judge of how good a catcher you are, Waugh was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
The all-time catching list are all top-quality batsmen,and Waugh believes there may be common elements in play.
Obviously there’s reflexes,there’s hand-eye co-ordination and there is concentration and you probably need all three in both [batting and fielding, he said.
Waugh said Australian captain Ricky Ponting,who has racked up 148 catches in 131 Tests,would be the one who can dislodge Dravid.
Among current players,only Graeme Smith (104 catches from 77 Tests) is likely to challenge the top order.
Former Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming is third in the all-time list with 171 catches from 111 matches followed by Brian Lara (164 from 131),Mark Taylor (157 from 104),Allan Border (156 from 156).
Among current players other than Dravid and Ponting,Jacques Kallis has 147 catches from 131 matches followed by Mahela Jayawardene (142 from 102),VVS Laxman (111 from 104) and Graeme Smith (104 from 77).
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