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How Dravid’s awareness helped Raina take ‘the best catch of his career’

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Suresh Raina, while in conversation with Kapil Dev on ABP News, recalled how Rahul Dravid‘s game awareness helped him take the ‘best catch of his career’.

Raina, when asked to pick among his catches, chose the one he took to dismiss Kamran Akmal in the fourth ODI of India’s tour of Pakistan in 2006. Dravid, who captained the side at the time, strategically stationed Raina at point with Akmal trying to slash hard at anything outside off.

“I remember a catch against Pakistan which I had taken at point,” he recalled. “Rahul Dravid was our captain, Irfan Pathan was the bowler and Kamran Akmal was batting. So there was a rule at the time to keep a fielder in catching position inside 15 yards.

“So Rahul bhai [Dravid] asked me if I will stand at point? I said, ‘Yes please, tell me where do you want me to stand.’ So he showed me, and asked me to close in and be ready for a catch.”

And sure enough, Akmal proceed to slash Pathan’s next delivery straight into Raina’s hands. “The moment Irfan delivered the ball, Akmal cut it hard and I just saw the ball, which came straight into my hands,” he said. “The thing that impressed me the most was that Rahul bhai knew there’s a chance of a catch and it came on the very next delivery.

“The reason why I remember that catch is that captain, bowler, fielder, everybody was involved. It was after that catch that I realised fielding is something you need to enjoy as it helps you improve your game as a whole.”

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