Test matches remain the pinnacle of the game and accomplishing the desired result in this form of the game requires tremendous grit, skill and determination. While pundits often talk about the batting and bowling departments while analysing and forecasting results, very rarely have we seen wicket keeping numbers being scrutinised.
In the most unadulterated form of the game, where the conditions at a given time can truly test an individual, wicket keeping remains an extremely integral aspect of the game. For instance, in the challenging terrains of the subcontinent, where the wicket remains slow, low, sluggish and extremely volatile towards the latter half of the game, wicketkeepers find it profusely challenging to adapt to the conditions.
Call it ironic, but when an extremely difficult chance goes begging from a keeper, people do not consider the odds he has to counter, but just jump to the testimony that the keeper wasn’t up to the mark. In such conditions, the men behind the stumps matter a lot, and they need to make every single chance count.
2017 as a year was a host to some special wicket keeping feats, and below, we go through the top five instances of the most number of dismissals inflicted by a keeper in a Test innings.
- Quinton De Kock – 4:
Recently elevated as South Africa’s premier gloveman in whites, De Kock was top notch against Sri Lanka in the home series in January. In the third and final Test of the series, South Africa put up a colossal 426 on board, to which Sri Lanka had no answer. The visitors were bowled out for a mere 131, as De Kock ended up taking four catches behind the stumps, mainly those of the Sri Lankan top and middle order.
- Quinton De Kock – 4:
Earlier in the very series against Sri Lanka, De Kock once again found himself in a decent position as the wicketkeeper. At Cape Town in the second Test, the batting wonder was involved in four dismissals in Sri Lanka’s second innings. De Kock inflicted three catches during Sri Lanka’s highly improbable run chase and a stumping off-spinner Keshav Maharaj’s bowling.
- Dinesh Chandimal – 4:
Amidst the same Cape Town Test against South Africa, Sri Lankan wicketkeeper and star batsman Dinesh Chandimal was in the reckoning of some impressive numbers as well. During the first innings of the Test, Chandimal was solid behind the stumps as he accounted for four dismissals from the South African camp. Fair to say that turned out to be the only positive for Sri Lanka in the Test at Cape Town.
- Quinton De Kock – 5:
Featuring for a remarkable third occasion in the elite list is Quinton De Kock. After a memorable series against Sri Lanka at home, De Kock repeated his wicketkeeping heroics against New Zealand, away from home. In the third Test at Hamilton, De Kock was involved in five New Zealand dismissals, with all being catches. However, it was his match-saving knock though, which was the highlight of the game for South Africa.
- Imrul Kayes – 5:
It might seem incredibly jolting, but the fact remains that a non-regular wicketkeeper heads this list! Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes leads the list for the most number of dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test innings for 2017. During his side’s tour of New Zealand in the first quarter of the year, Imrul was at the helm of five catches, when New Zealand were in pursuit of Bangladesh’s first innings score of 595.
Below, is the table for the top ten number of dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test innings in 2017.
|Imrul Kayes||Bangladesh||5||New Zealand||Wellington|
|Quinton De Kock||South Africa||5||New Zealand||Hamilton|
|Dinesh Chandimal||Sri Lanka||4||South Africa||Cape Town|
|Quinton De Kock||South Africa||4||Sri Lanka||Cape Town|
|Quinton De Kock||South Africa||4||Sri Lanka||Johannesburg|
|BJ Watling||New Zealand||4||Bangladesh||Christchurch|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||Bangladesh||4||Sri Lanka||Colombo|
|Quinton De Kock||South Africa||4||New Zealand||Wellington|
|Quinton De Kock||South Africa||4||England||Lord’s|