Wicket-Keeping is one of the most essential roles in the game of cricket.
They hold the game and regulate it at a good pace. A wicket-keeper, by taking catches and inflicting run-outs, boost the morale of bowlers as well as the whole team.
Their main role they have in the team is that they gather the missed deliveries so that the batsmen don’t steal bye runs. Often we have seen wicket keepers changing the complexion of the game by their bit of work.
A good wicket-keeper batsman can bat good along with good wicket-keeping skills. Over the years, we have seen many good wicket-keeping batsmen. Selecting the top 10 from their was generally a uphill task. This challenging task made me not select talented players like Jos Buttler, Quinton De Kock, etc. But with age on their side, they’ll definitely end up as the best wicket-keeper batsmen in the near future.
Here’s our ultimate list of the best wicket-keeper batsmen over the years:
#10. Moin Khan
For a better part of his career, Moin Khan had to compete for his position with Rashid Latif. While Rashid was a comparatively better wicket-keeper, it was Moin’s batting which gave him the nod over Rashid.
With 435 dismissals behind the wicket, Moin Khan has certainly been one of the best wicket-keepers of his time.
He was no slogger with the bat and had around 6000 runs in international cricket with 4 centuries and 27 half centuries.
#9. Rod Marsh
Taking into account that Rod Marsh had around 355 dismissals in Tests and 124 dismissals in ODIs reflect to us the fact that he was quite influential as a player.
His partnership with Dennis Lillee was one of the highlights of his career. More than the partnership, it was the understanding the two shared which made them one of the most prolific bowler-keeper pair of all times.
He is also widely remembered for the way he bashed 26 runs in one over of New Zealand bowler Lance Cairns.
#8. Jeff Dujon
Jeff Dujon was smaller in frame compared to his carribbean compatriots. But he more than made up for it with his neat glovework behind the stumps.
One of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1989, Dujon was the first keeper to make and impact with the bat too as evident by his 5000+ runs along with 5 centuries and 22 Half centuries.
He did a might not have great numbers as a wicket-keeper with around 476 dismissals in international cricket. However when we consider the fact that he kept wickets against the then fastest bowlers of the world, we see that he has done a great job overall.
It’s been years since his retirement but still West Indies cricket fans are quite clear with the fact that Jeff Dujon has been the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to have emerged from their country.
#7. Ian Healy
Ian Healy wil be go down in history as probably one of the greatest wicket-keepers to have emerged from Australia.
With around 628 international dismissals in international cricket, Healy was even a useful batsman lower down the order.
Healy was an optimistic personality and could often be heard encouraging the rest of the teammates from behind the stumps. He had a good partnership with Shane Warne in his career and it’s even a accolade in itself when one does so great catching the viciously spinning balls of Shane Warne.
He was declared the Wisden Cricketer Of The Year. He was also inducted in the Australian Hall Of Fame in 2004.
#6. Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher is, without doubt, the greatest wicket-keeper to have played cricket from South Africa. His energy and never-say-die attitude separates him from others.
Mark Boucher has accounted for 999 dismissals in International Cricket, a record which is supposed to last a long time since there’s no one close to that currently.
Apart from his wicketkeeping skills he was no novice with the bat and has scored close to 10000+ runs along with 6 centuries and 61 half centuries. His batting abilities were on display in the famous 434-438 ODI where he smashed the winning runs.
He was all set to have reach the magical number of 1000 dismissals when an unfortunate injury robbed him of this golden opportunity.
Post retirement, he’s engaged himself in coaching and is currently the head coach of South Africa’s national cricket team.
#5. Andy Flower
Andy Flower, is statistically, the greatest batsman to have emerged from Zimbabwe. In fact, Zimbabwe has never been able to produce talents like the Flower brothers ever.
He was among the best wicketkeeper batsman of his time. With an average of 51.54 he has scored 4794 runs along with 12 Centuries and 27 Half Centuries. In Odis too he proved his mettle as he scored 6786 runs at 35.35 with 4 centuries and 55 half centuries. Add his tally of 333 dismissals and we would know the reason for which he was rated so highly.
His career was cut short due to differences with the board members of Zimbabwe Cricket.
#4. Brendon McCullum
One of the greatest wicket-keeper of modern era, Brendon McCullum was a true entertainer. On his best day, he could demolish any bowling attack.
McCullum has the distinction of being the first captain to lead New Zealand in a World Cup Final. Although NZ lost the final, McCullum garnered high praise for the attacking cricket he played throughout the tournament.
He has effected more than 450 dismissals behind the effect and taken some breathtaking catches in the outfield.
Apart from his wicketkeeping skills he was one of the most feared batsman in limited overs cricket which is evident by his healthy strike rate.
Though branded as a limited overs specialist, McCullum was not novice in tests. He holds the highest individual score for New Zealand (302) and has scored 6453 runs along with 12 Centuries and 31 Half Centuries.
In T20Is he had been the most efficient and devastating batsman of New Zealand. He was the former leading scorer in T20Is and has been a leading force in all major T20 leagues.
#3. MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni, undoubtedly, the greatest captain from India, has taken Indian cricket to a new level. From his sharp cricketing mind to his lightning fast stumpings, his has taken India to a new level.
The only captain to win all 3 ICC Tournaments, MSD has also proved himself as one of the most devastating batsman of this generation. Be it the 2011 World Cup Final or the 2013 Tri Series Final against Sri Lanka, MSD has shown that he’s got the temperament for big games.
Behind the wickets, he was one of the greatest wicket-keeper and he would often display his pyrotechnics behind the stumps. With 829 dismissals across formats, MSD has proved himself to better from the rest.
His athleticism, running between the wickets were as extraordinary as his Helicopter shot.
He has redefined the finisher role and has averaged over 50 in ODIs, besides accumulating 10000+ runs with 10 centuries and 73 half centuries. In Tests too, he has led India to the No.1 ranking along with 6 centuries.
He announced his retirement last year and plays franchise cricket for Chennai in IPL.
#2. Kumar Sangakkara
Undoubtedly, the greatest batsman to have originated from Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara was a true gentleman of the game.
He has remained the cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s batting for a long time. His partnership with Mahela Jayawardene still remains as one of the most prolific partnerships ever.
Behind the wickets we would often see his cleverness coming to fore and over the years he improved into a fine wicket-keeper too.
With more than 700 dismissals for Sri Lanka he’s in top form ever since debuting in 2000. Probably, one of the fewest cricketers with no haters, he’s been equally consistent in both ODIs and Tests.
He currently stands second on the list of most runs in Interntional Cricket, just behind Sachin Tendulkar. An event full career which saw him amass more than 28000 runs with 63 Centuries came to an end in 2015.
His admiring personality has been adored by fans all over the world.
#1. Adam Gilchrist
Here he is. I guess all of us were quite sure of this name to be at the top place.
In his playing days, Adam Gilchrist had been one of the most devastating and important cog in the sparkling Australian batting. Throughout his career, he’s demolished each and every attack and gave us a glimpse of his hitting prowess.
He was no less behind the wickets and has more than 800 dismissals behind the wickets. Mind you, the bowlers of his time were Bret Lee with his excessive pace and Shane Warne with the turn.
Talk about his influence on the team, and he’s scored a 50+ score in each of the 1999,2003 finals and ended up with a century in 2007 finals, all of the three were won by Australia.
Prior to his retirement in 2008 he had around 15 thousand runs with 33 Centuries and 81 Fifties.
And then there was his ever smiling face. All these testimonies drive us to the fact that Adam Gilchrist was definitely one of the most spirited gentleman cricket has been blessed with. He certainly is the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to grace the field of Cricket.
So, did you like our list of the Top 10 Best Wicketkeeper Batsmen of all time? Mail us to give us your feedback.
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