With catch No. 182 of Tim McIntosh, our very own Rahul Dravid has now become the record holder of maximum number of catches in Tests (playing as non-wicketkeeper).
As a fan, this was a moment I had been looking forward to. That the matches start at an odd hour added a sense of anxiety that I would miss it. I was rather amused (and a bit relieved for I was starting to think I getting a bit crazy) when I read Sambit Bal’s article on Cricinfo today, that he too felt this way. Bal didn’t miss the moment, but he missed a flight. As for me, I got some extra sleep but missed the catch. I must say, throughout this series, every time I switched on the TV when NZ was batting, I would wait for the full scorecard to see the moment has passed, have a sigh of relief, followed almost immediately by a sense of disappointment. Strangely enough, today, when I turned the TV on at 7-ish and NZ were 120-odd for 3, I didn’t expect that one of the 3 would have been the record breaking one. I was expecting a “c Dhoni b Khan”. But it wasn’t, that was cool too! What was even cooler was that No. 183 came shortly thereafter, and that, I didn’t miss, for whatever that is worth. I will rue having missed No. 182, until Drav’s next century or double! 🙂
As always, there will be critics, those who feel it’s the longevity that’s lead to the record. For the skeptics, here is the fielding record sorted by max matches played and here, sorted by max catches taken by non-wicketkeeper. I’m not trying to justify anything, just trying to emphasize that credit needs to given where it is due. While we’re on the topic of stats, I’d be interested knowing how many of those came against pacers and spinners. I haven’t been able to tweak stats guru for this. Maybe it takes a little more than a cursory effort.
Congratulations, Dravid. A fine feat for a fine slip fielder! Way to go!