Ajinkya Rahane takes 100 catches in every practice session to sustain his fielding standards
The Test vice-captain has already taken six catches in the India-Sri Lanka Test series.
What's the story?
Indian cricketer, Ajinkya Rahane, talked about how he improved his slip fielding in his exclusive interview with Cheteshwar Pujara for the BCCI.
"I remember incidents from my childhood, when I used to drop a lot of catches in slips. That's when I realized that it was not right. I did not feel good when I would be removed from one position and shifted elsewhere. It hurt me and that's when I decided to work on the slip (fielding) aspect," said the Mumbai batsman.
Rahane has been a safe slip fielder for India ever since his international debut. In Tests, he's one of the few reliable men that Virat Kohli has in the slip quadrant.
"Last time when we toured, I had a discussion with our fielding coach and decided that I will take 100 catches every session. I wanted to be one of the best in the slip quadrant. I started working on that and I am still working on that," he concluded.
In case you didn't know...
Rahane currently is India's best fielder in the slips. His soft hands and steady stance power him in snatching the toughest of catches at the fielding position.
He has been excellent in India's ongoing series against Sri Lanka and has already taken six catches in the two Tests played between the two teams. He is also the fastest Indian and the second fastest cricketer to 50 Test catches.
India's No. 3 and No. 5 batsmen discussed a series of topics including Rahane's on-and-off the field personality, their crucial partnership in the middle in the SSC Test, Pujara's love for FIFA, Rahane's diet and Pujara's hunger to score big hundreds.
Both the batsmen looked relaxed and happy after having won the second Test and consequently, the series. They were both centurions in the match and weaved a brilliant partnership worth 217 runs in a crucial phase of the innings.
The Test vice-captain will hope to keep it up with respect to his fielding abilities and to keep adding to his catching technique through the length of his career.
He was under the tutelage of Dravid for a long time and would hope to match up to his mentor's legendary status as a slip-fielder in Tests one day. Dravid holds the record for the highest number of catches taken by a non-wicket-keeper in Tests and it would be long before anyone else comes close to that number.
Can Rahane manage to be that player?
The standards for international fielding are increasing with every passing match. Players throwing themselves at the ball is no longer a rare occurrence, but an expected line of action.
It requires extreme levels of practice and dedication to be regarded as one of the best in such dynamic environment that is constantly buzzing with competition. Rahane has managed to do that and deserves to be appreciated for the same.
Rahane, with his reliable batting and sensational fielding, will continue to be one of India's best Test cricketers for the next decade. The Indian cricket fan would hope, for the national side's sake, that the man from Mumbai is not plagued by injury or illness anywhere in the aforementioned period.