Rahul Dravid has arguably been one of the best batters India has ever produced in Tests as well as ODIs. Amassing more than 24000 runs in international cricket is no mean feat and Dravid has scored most of them in crunch situations.
While Dravid was always ‘Mr. Dependable’ for Team India with the bat, he was also an incredible fielder. He also holds the record for the highest number of catches taken by a player in Test history (210).
Not just in the slips, Dravid took absolute stunners at many other positions in the inner circle. Some of them have also changed the momentum in favor of India, such was his impact on the field.
On that note, let’s take a look at the five best catches taken by Rahul Dravid throughout his career:
#5 Herschelle Gibbs – c Rahul Dravid b Javagal Srinath – 1996
Arguably one of the best all-rounders South Africa has produced, Lance Klusener marked his debut in stunning fashion with an eight-wicket haul to give South Africa a famous win against India at Kolkata in 1996.
But there was another debutant in that game in the form of Herschelle Gibbs, who didn’t have the best of starts to his career. One of the main reasons for the same was Dravid on the field.
Gibbs tried to defend a delivery from Javagal Srinath, but the extra bounce did him and the ball looped towards short leg. Dravid moved swiftly and caught it inches from the ground to send back Gibbs.
#4 Saleem Malik – c Rahul Dravid b Sunil Joshi, 1999
Arguably Pakistan’s best performance on Indian soil till date came in the 1999 Test at Chennai. Despite Sachin Tendulkar‘s heroic effort of 136 in the second innings, India fell short of their target by just 12 runs. Even the crowd in Chennai applauded Pakistan for their brilliant performance.
While Tendulkar received the Man of the Match award for his valiant effort, Rahul Dravid left his mark on the game with a brilliant piece of fielding in the game. In Pakistan’s second innings, Saleem Malik was batting well and threatened to post a huge target.
However, he tried to cut a delivery from left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi and could only find Dravid’s outstretched left hand at first slip. It was an incredible catch, considering the fact that it was his weaker side.
#3 Damien Martyn – c Rahul Dravid b Sachin Tendulkar, 2003
One of India’s most famous overseas wins still remains their first Test win at Adelaide in 2003 against the mighty Australians. Dravid was the Player of the Match, scoring 305 runs in the game and being dismissed just once.
However, he also contributed to the field with a stunning catch at a crucial juncture in the game. Damien Martyn stabilized Australia’s second innings after they were 44/3 at one point.
But Dravid’s stunning one-handed grab in slips off Tendulkar’s bowling sent Martyn back to the pavilion and ensured that India had a modest total to chase.
#2 Mark Waugh – c Rahul Dravid b Harbhajan Singh, 2001
While India won the historic 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia, they sealed the series with a win in Chennai. Harbhajan Singh was the talk of the town during that series.
The off-spinner single-handedly destroyed the Australian batting to establish himself as a star. While Rahul Dravid played his role in that marathon partnership with VVS Laxman in Kolkata, he also took a blinder off Harbhajan’s bowling.
Mark Waugh tried to work the ball behind the square, but Dravid was sharp at leg slip as he dived to his right and completed a brilliant catch.
#1 Moin Khan – c Rahul Dravid b Javagal Srinath, 2000
India had a forgetful tour of Australia in 1999/2000. Despite Tendulkar’s best efforts, his team was whitewashed 3-0 in the Tests. India were also disappointing in the tri-series that included Pakistan.
But Dravid once again provided a moment of spark in the field that is still remembered to date. Not many would associate Dravid with being a good square leg fielder. But the duo of Srinath and Dravid produced magic once again against Pakistan.
Wicket-keeper Moin Khan tried to pull a short-pitched delivery from Srinath towards square leg, but Dravid pounced on it and took a stunning catch.