‘Catches win matches’ is not just a phrase but holds a lot of purpose in cricket. Especially in the longest format of the game, world-class batsmen will punish you if you drop their catches. Thus holding on to the chances becomes so important. So good fielders are an asset to any team and both India and Australia had some world-class fielders and wicketkeepers who were safe with their catches especially in the longest format of the game between the two i.e. Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has seen many close encounters between India and Australia and thus catching has such a crucial part for both the teams. Here we have a look at most number of catches taken by players in Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
1. Adam Gilchrist – 73
Former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist was one of the finest wicketkeepers in world cricket. Apart from being an attacking batsman in Tests lower down the order, Gilchrist also had a safe pair of hands behind the stumps.
Gilchrist has completed 73 catches, the most in the history of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In 18 Tests that he played against India, he had also 2 stumpings to go with the 73 catches. He had an incredible dismissal rate of 2.083 for innings. His brilliant glovework behind the stumps kept him as Australia’s first-choice wicketkeeper for more than a decade in Tests.
2. MS Dhoni – 56
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is regarded as one of the finest wicketkeepers to have ever played the game of cricket due to his brilliant glovework, despite his unconventional technique. He has the second-highest number of catches taken in Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 56 to his name.
In addition to this, he has a staggering 15 stumpings, the most by any in Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He was absolutely quick with his glovework and like Gilchrist for Australia, was India’s first-choice wicket-keeper for a long time. He was also a very handy batsman down the order and has played some vital innings in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, mainly the double-hundred against Australia in Chennai in 2012.
3. Brad Haddin – 56
Brad Haddin had some big shoes to fill, being Adam Gilchrist’s replacement in the Australian Test side. However, he was just as good as him and had 56 catches to his name. He was also a valuable lower-order batsman who always used to score runs at a quick pace
4. Rahul Dravid – 46
Rahul Dravid has been the Wall of Indian cricket and has played some absolutely brilliant knocks especially in overseas conditions. Being a great batsman already, he also had the attribute of a brilliant catcher and was one of the main fielders in India’s slip cordon for several years.
In the 32 Tests that he has played against Australia, Dravid has managed to hold on to 46 catches, the most by any fielder other than a wicketkeeper in the history of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Be it against fast bowlers or spinners, Dravid was always good at taking catches and that helped the Indian team immensely, especially in overseas conditions.
5. VVS Laxman – 36
Another Indian batting legend who was a great slip fielder, VVS Laxman was also a regular part of India’s slip cordon. He always brought his best to the table while facing Australia, be it with the bat or in the field. He has played 29 Tests against Australia and has 36 catches to his name, which the second-most for any fielder other than wicketkeeper in Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
He played a very crucial part in many famous Indian wins against Australia. Two of them that come to mind are the famous 281 against Australia at Kolkata and a brilliant hundred against Australia at Adelaide in 2003-04, a Test which India famously ended up winning.
6. Ricky Ponting – 36
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was a great fielder as well along with being an excellent captain and a world-class batsman. He has 36 catches to his name, which is the joint second-most along with Laxman in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.