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Apr 8, 2009

Dravid now world record holder of most catches

Rahul DravidIndia's Rahul Dravid Monday became the world record holder of most catches in Tests, surpassing Australian Mark Waugh, when he caught New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh at third slip for his 182 catch on the fourth day of the third and last cricket Test here.

He dived to his left to take a low catch of Tim McIntosh off Zaheer Khan for his record.

Dravid's record came in his 134th Test. Waugh's tally of 181 catches came from 128 Tests in a career spanning 11 years (1991-2002). Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is the third on the list with 171 catches in 111 matches.

V.V.S Laxman is the second Indian in all-time catching list at 18th place with 111 catches in 105 matches. Sunil Gavaskar has 108 catches in 125 matches while one of India's best slip fielders Mohammed Azharuddin held on to 105 catches in 99 matches.

By the end of the day's play Monday, Dravid added another to his tally as he removed Jesse Ryder and took his average to .74 catches per innings compared to Waugh's .73.

Dravid, who caught up with Waugh when he snapped up Martin in the New Zealand first innings of the first Test at Hamilton, had opportunities to break the record but dropped a couple of difficult catches in the subsequent innings.

The 36-year-old has shown good anticipation and quick reflexes over the years to etch his name among the best close-in fielders of the world.

Many like Waugh believe that Dravid is not a natural catcher, but has got immense concentration, one of the most important qualities of a good close-in fielder.

'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,' Waugh had said when Dravid equalled his record in the first Test at Hamilton.

'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.

Dravid will keep the record for some years as his nearest competitors Ricky Ponting (148 catches in 131 Tests), Jacques Kallis (147 in 131) and Mahela Jayawerdene (142 in 102) are still at some distance to catch up with him.

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