Galle: Pleased with his world record feat of eight catches in a Test match, Ajinkya Rahane on Friday credited former India skipper Rahul Dravid for guiding him on slip catching and overall fielding.
Rahane today became the first fielder in Test history to take eight catches in a game, achieving the feat in the ongoing first cricket match against Sri Lanka here.
"We had a very good talk during IPL about what he used to do when he used to stand in the slips," revealed Rahane on working closely with Dravid, who used to man the slip cordon for India during his playing days.
"He (Dravid) told me that focus and concentration were really important things. In Tests sometimes the ball will not come for a long time and suddenly you have to grab that one chance that comes. That temperament has to be there and I have been working on my slip catching and my overall fielding," he said at the post match press conference here.
Rahane said he wasn't aware of his world record feat until his teammates told him about it.
"I didn't know until Murali Vijay and Umesh Yadav came on during a break, and told me that this is a world record for you," said a happy Rahane.
"I was quite surprised, I didn't know about it. I feel in this team, any player can stand anywhere. Every individual has the ability to stand anywhere and all are brilliant fielders. So I normally stand at gully for fast bowlers and this time Virat Kohli told me that I will stand at slip for spinners. So I have been practicing that before the Test series. Even during the series we have been taking 50 to 100 catches everyday. So that's working for us," he added.
Rahane said his sole intention was to stay completely focussed while fielding in the slips.
"I was completely focusing at the present moment because we all knew that one wicket at that point would give us that momentum. (Kumar) Sangakkara's wicket gave us the momentum and immediately (Angelo) Mathews got out, so my motto was to stay focussed all the time in the slips because the ball was turning that time.
"Ashwin and Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh) were bowling really well. I just wanted to focus and keep concentrating and each and every ball."
Sri Lanka recovered from 95 for five at lunch to score 367, courtesy a Test hundred by Dinesh Chandimal, who survived two clear dismissals, which the umpires did not give, and he went on to hit an unbeaten 162.
The match might have been over today had Chandimal got out earlier but Rahane said that the Lankan batsman needed to be given credit for his efforts.
"When you look from outside, it did seem that the game would get over today. But we weren't thinking like that. Our intention was to give them as few runs as possible. If you see in the first innings, when we gave less runs, the chances of wickets went up. So we had to bowl well and the wickets would come. Chandimal batted well and counter attacked well.
"We didn't bowl badly but he hit shots off good balls. Credit should go to him as well," said the Mumbai batsman.
India finished the day on 23 for one with Shikhar Dhawan and night watchman Ishant Sharma at the crease. The visitors now need just 153 more runs for victory.
"We are chasing around 150 now. Strategy is to wait and watch in the first session and then back our game after that. Our intention is to stay positive. Virat and Shikhar got very good hundreds in the first innings. Each and every batsmen is in good touch. So I am confident about tomorrow," Rahane signed off.