Bangalore, Aug 21: While Team India gears up for the first Test against New Zealand, coach Duncan Fletcher seems to be a worried man since the team's slip fielding is causing a lot of worry as India's greatest slip fielders, the Indian giants VVS Laxman and Rahl Dravid will be among India's XI that faces New Zealand in the first Test starting on August 23 at Hyderabad.
If the batting line-up looks weak, there is another one to ponder about as the team's slip catching poses a worry as Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman together had taken 345 catches off 298 Tests over the last decade and a half.
Moreover, this seems to be more worse, as the stats reveal that the duo (VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid) had scalped 1.15 catches per match and if we leave out Sachin Tendulkar, then the account will be very less that showed how the duo dominated slip fielding.
If we take the rest of the team's records, then it goes worse as they have attributed only 295 catches off 516 matches which can definitely not match up to Dravid-Laxman's record which they could do it in less number of Tests.
Since then Fletcher seems to be a worried man as he is keen on finding slip fielders as replacement for the duo who retired from Test cricket recently.
Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag are the preferred slip fielders for the current series, but Fletcher preferred to use Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina as well as the Indian team practiced on Monday.
While Dravid heads the table for the most catches by an Indian in Tests with 209 off 163 matches and a maximum of three catches in a match, VVS Laxman is placed second with 135 catches off 134 Tests, with a maximum of 4 in a match.
Apart from these two, only Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag feature in the top 10, with 113 and 73 respectively.
Given the current team, Gautam Gambhir (33), SK Raina (20), Zaheer Khan (18) and Yuvraj Singh (31) are the only players who feature in the list. With Yuvraj not selected for the Test team, it now reduces to two as Virat Kohli and others need to go a long way to establish themselves as slip fielders.
Most Catches by an Indian in Tests
* Rahul Dravid - 209
* VVS Laxman - 135
* Sachin Tendulkar - 113
* Sunil Gavaskar - 108
* Mohammad Azharuddin - 105
* Dilip Vengsarkar - 78
* Virender Sehwag - 73
* Sourav Ganguly - 71
* N Kapil Dev - 64
* G R Vishwanath - 63
* Harbhajan Singh - 42
* Gautam Gambhir - 33
* Yuvraj Singh - 31
* Suresh Raina - 20
* Zaheer Khan - 18