Cricket is a game of fine margins, and brilliant Wicket Keeping can change the course of the match in seconds. Wicket keepers are the backbone for any side in cricket, as they are considered to have the most important position in the field of play. Even if the Wicket Keeper is not the captain of the side, he understands the game better than even the regular captain. He has control over fielding positions as well as gives important advice to his team members. Cricket has seen some amazing wicket Keepers over the years from Ian Healy to Andy Flower to MS Dhoni. Here are the top 5 wicket keepers that have accounted for the most number of dismissals in international cricket.
This should not come as a surprise that the South African Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has the most dismissals by a WicketKeeper. He was a genius behind the stumps that kept wickets to the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn in their absolute prime. Wicket keeping in South Africa can be extremely difficult as there is the pace and carry on every wicket and the ball flies everywhere. Boucher in his 15 years of International Cricket, played a combined of 467 Matches. He took a record 952 catches and made 46 stumpings. A total of 998 dismissals in the most till now in international Cricket. Boucher was also quite handy with the bat as he made 5,515 runs with 5 test match centuries. In ODI cricket Boucher contributed with 4686 runs and also scored one century in his career.
2. Adam Gilchrist
The destructive batsman was known for his audacious stroke play and was underrated behind the stumps. In all conditions, Gilchrist was brilliant behind the stumps. He much like Boucher, had a pace battery to which wicketkeeping wasn’t easy. Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee could have been a nightmare for other wicket keepers but Gilly was safe as houses behind the wickets. Then there was arguably the greatest leg spinner the World has ever seen Shane Warne, Gilly was equally safe while wicket Keeping for the artist Warne as well. He hardly dropped catches and helped Australia win by creating those half chances into wickets. In 396 matches Gilchrist pouched 905 catches and as far as stumpings are concerned, he stumped 92 times.
3. MS Dhoni
“ The Fastest hands behind the stumps” this statement perfectly symbolises MSD behind the stumps. Just his game awareness and the ability to stay always one step ahead of the batsman make him an outstanding Wicketkeeper. Dhoni is not your typical Wicketkeeper but someone who is street smart. Indian has never produced a wicketkeeper like him, that reads the game so successfully. Under pressure when India needs a wicket, he will produce a moment of magic out of nowhere and send the batsman back to the pavilion. Even the umpires sometimes prefer to go to the third umpire when MSD shouts for anything behind the Wickets. His stats for someone who is not a textbook wicketkeeper are staggering. Dhoni in 532 matches has snaffled 628 catches along with a record 193 stumpings. Dhoni is still playing and will be adding to these numbers. India once MSD retires will not only miss his batting but also his Wicketkeeping exploits. With the bat in hand, he is the Master and one of the finest the world has ever seen. His statistics, especially in ODI cricket, are mind-boggling with runs of over 10,000 at an average of over 50 in 300 matches. Dhoni is a magician with gloves in hand and it doesn’t matter if they are batting or Wicket keeping gloves as he is simply sensational.
4. Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan is arguably the greatest left-handed batsman the World has ever seen. People forget that he was also a fine wicketkeeper, who kept wickets for his country in 594 matches. Sangakkara was a natural behind the stumps, and someone who was naturally a left-hander took fine catches to his right of both fast bowlers and spinners. He could keep against Chaminda Vaas on pace and bouncy tracks in overseas conditions as well as keep to Muralidharan on spinning tracks in Sri Lanka. He caught 539 catches and also stumped 139 times in his international career. His combined 678 dismissals is the fourth most in international cricket. As far as his batting his concerned he had a record that every cricketer in the world would envy. 12,400 runs at an average of 57.4 in tests and 14234 runs in ODI speaks volumes about his contribution to international cricket.
Healy was perhaps the most gifted Wicketkeeper out of the 5 in the list. The Australian 287 matches in his 11 long years of international cricket. He has 628 dismissals to his name, with 560 catches and 68 stumpings. One of the greatest Wicket keepers to have ever graced the game, Healy was a frantic live wire behind the stumps that had exemplary glovework. As far as his batting record is concerned, he scored 4356 runs in 119 test matches with 4 centuries. In ODI cricket he accumulated 1746 runs in 168 matches.