Five Best Wicket-Keepers To Play In The 21st Century
Wicket-keeping is an art which only a handful of players can master. As the game grew bigger and faster in the 21st century, the role of a wicket-keeper got all the importance. In the 21st century, the role of wicket-keepers got more challenging due to the fast-paced game.
In the 21st century, we came across the wicket-keepers who also managed the role of a captain quite impressively, as wicket keepers make for good captains due to their positioning.
Since the start of the 21st century, cricket changed dramatically and some of the best wicket-keepers of this century changed their techniques as per the requirements of the game and match situations. These wicket-keepers will be remembered as legends of the game who dominated the sport with some authoritarian performances.
These wicket-keepers had different skillsets but it was truly amazing to watch these players.
We take a look at five such wicket-keepers who left their marks with some fine performances.
# 5 MS-Dhoni
MS Dhoni will always be remembered as India’s troubleshooter when it comes to his batting, wicket-keeping or tactical thinking. Even after being handed the role of the captaincy to the current skipper Virat Kohli, he often consults MS Dhoni for field placing.
Dhoni looked at ease on any kind of wicket in terms of his collection and catching behind the stumps due to his sharp technique. Dhoni finished his Test career with 294 dismissals in 90 Tests, his present ODI status is 444 dismissals in 350 matches and 91 dismissals in 98 T20Is.
Dhoni possessed quick reflexes even during the fag end of his career. Dhoni showcased his brilliance behind the stumps with his quick and smart stumping.
# 4 Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum had this unique ability to judge the length of a particular delivery which helped him to time his jump behind the stumps.
The former New Zealand skipper was a destructive batsman who hammered the best attacks with his powerful hitting. McCullum looked quite sharp with his collection in seaming and swinging conditions.
Known for his athleticism, Mccullum took some blinders due to his fast reflexes. McCullum finished his career with 209 dismissals in 101 Tests, 277 dismissals in 260 One-Day Internationals and 44 dismissals in T20Is.
# 3 Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher will be remembered as one of the finest wicket-keepers that South-Africa has ever produced. The South African’s keeper looked sharp on bouncy wickets but along with that Boucher brought variations in his technique.
The right-hander was a handy batsman lower down the order as he would take apart any bowling line-up on his day. Boucher possessed great athleticism and was quick with his glove work. Boucher ended his glittering career with 555 dismissals in 147 Tests, 425 dismissals in 295 One-Day Internationals and 19 dismissals in 25 T20I matches.
# 2 Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan legend had a big impact on his nation’s cricket. Kumar Sangakkara was known for his quick and intelligent footwork behind the stumps. The left-hander will be remembered as one of the greatest batsmen Sri Lanka has ever produced.
Sangakkara also captained his side for a brief period, handling the responsibility quite well. Sangakkara was considered a perfect replacement for Romesh Kaluwitharana when he first arrived.
Sangakkara was known for his clever glove-work and his keeping looked sharp on all kinds of wickets. Sangakarra registered 202 dismissals in 134 Tests, 501 dismissals in 404 One-day Internationals and 45 dismissals in 56 T20Is.
# 1 Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist was an instrumental figure for Australia with the bat as well as behind the stumps. The left-hander dominated the best bowling line-ups with his attacking style of play. Gilchrist had a great hand-eye co-ordination behind the stumps and had a safe pair of hands-on fast as well as turning wickets.
Gilchrist had also captained Australia in some matches showcasing his intelligence while making bowling changes. Standing in front of legendary bowlers like Glen McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie was always tough but “Gilly” was always up to the task. Gilchrist possessed great reflexes due to his fitness.
Gilchrist collection looked impressive even in swinging conditions. The left-hander finished his career with 416 dismissals in 96 Tests, 472 dismissals in 472 One-day Internationals and 17 dismissals in 13 T20Is. He played his last Test against India in Australia in 2008
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