Cricket is a sport that is dominated by batsmen and bowlers but like all movies, there’s a side supporting hero who does all stuff but never gets appreciated, same is with Wicket-keepers who play one of the crucial roles in the game but never gets the credit they deserve. Cricket has been played for more than 100 years now and in this article, we will try to find the best wicket-keeper in the world from the start of cricket.
Wicket-keepers are very underrated and finding the best wicketkeeper in the world is not easy as wicket keepers perform many tasks on the field. Wicket-keepers were seen as specialized fielders in the 90s but players like Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara rejuvenated the definition of Wicket-keeper in the team. We will look at the best wicket-keeper in the world based on the contribution and impact they had on the game.
#10. Moin Khan
Moin Khan is a Pakistani legend who played for 14 years in the international arena and is on the tenth spot in our list of best wicket-keeper in the world. Khan was part of Pakistan’s Golden generation of Imran Khan which won the 1992 World Cup and Moin played an instrumental role behind the wickets on bouncy wickets of Australia. He was one of the safest hands behind stumps in the 90s and had to keep behind fierce bowlers like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.
He played over 250 matches for Pakistan and was very handy with the bat. Moin used to bat down the order and was the maestro of sweep shots. Sweep shots were his trademark and gave him a lot of runs. Although he would have achieved a lot more in international cricket Rashid Latif was an equally talented player and Pakistan shuffled between these two which held him back from achieving more feats.
#9. Brad Haddin
Those who started watching cricket in the 2000s and 2010s surely are familiar with Brad Haddin. There have been many cricketers who are labeled as born in the wrong era or unlucky one but Brad Haddin broke all the jinx and proved himself even after starting late and is at 9th in our list for best wicket-keeper in the world. Australia has always been blessed with great Wicket-keepers like Rod Marsh, Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist, and Brad Haddin are the latest in this list.
Brad Haddin was part of an era where Adam Gilchrist and the Australian team dominated the whole world and Haddin was seen as a backup for him. He traveled with the Australian team on many tours but never got an opportunity to showcase his talent but after Gilchrist’s retirement, he finally got an opportunity to showcase his talent.
After 2008, Australia was searching for a safe hand behind wickets and Tim Paine was tipped as the successor of Adam Gilchrist and selectors ignored Brad Haddin who was backup of Gilchrist for years. Haddin didn’t lose hope and constantly made a mark in domestic cricket and eventually got a reward in the 2011 World Cup. He is naturally an opening batsman and even opened for Australia in 2011 World but later on transformed himself into a lethal power hitter down the order.
Batting was his plus point but he was equally sharp behind the wickets. His iconic diving catches in Ashes 2013-14 off Mitchell Johnson’s bowling still give goosebumps. Haddin was also part of the 2015 World Cup-winning squad and played some handy knocks throughout the tournament. Haddin said goodbye to international cricket in 2015 and will always be remembered as one of the best wicket-keeper in the world.
#8. Jeff Dujon
In the 90s and 80s was the era of big tall West Indian fast bowlers like Malcolm Marshall, Ian Bishop, Curtly Ambrose, and keeping wickets against him on bouncy tracks of Jamaica or Trident is not a cup of cake. Duron is a Caribbean legend and his technique in wicket-keeping is regarded as the epitome of wicket-keepers. He also made decent contributions with the bat and scored some handy runs down the order. Dujon is regarded as the one of best wicket-keeper in the world and has left a big mark in world cricket.
#7. Rod Marsh
Rod Marsh was the first real player who redefined the role of wicket-keeper in the 80s. The Australian great played more than 150 games for Australia and was one of the important figures in the 70s and 80s. Marsh was the one who coached the great Adam Gilchrist. After retirement as a player Rod Marsh also tried his hands in commentating and also was director of the England Cricket Board for 5 years.
#6. Brendon McCullum
The next name on the list of best wicket-keeper in the world is Kiwi legend, Brendon McCullum. McCullum was part of the modern crop of players who changed the definition of Wicket-keepers to wicket-keeper batsmen. The explosive veteran played more than 400 games for New Zealand and his stats are outrageous.
He made his debut in 2004 and made an instant impact in his debut series against England. He was initially used as a floater by the Kiwi team but later on, management admired his ability to strike the ball and promoted him to top of the order.
McCullum played in almost every batting position throughout his career. He used to open in ODI, T20Is, and even in Tests but later on shifted to down the order in Tests. McCullum is the only wicket-keeper to score three hundred in Tests which is an incredible feat. He was also a safe customer behind wickets and finally hung up boots in 2016 after playing for almost 12 years in the international circuit.
#5. Alec Stewart
Alec Stewart is a former English player who played for England during the 90s and early 2000s. Stewart was one of the safest hands behind the wickets and his father was also a former wicket-keeper for England and cricket runs through his veins. His iconic black gloves still give nostalgia to cricket fans.
Stewart was also a handy batsman and many times took England out of trouble with his stylish batting. Alec, later on, switched to coaching and trained the next generation of Wicket-keepers like Matt Prior. He played more than 300 games for England and was the first wicket-keeper to score more than 10 test hundreds. Stewart rejuvenated the role of wicket-keepers and inspired the young generation
#4. Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher was one of the unluckiest cricketers in the world and injury forced him to retire at an early age. Boucher was one fearsome wicket-keeper batsman of the modern era and definitely one of best wicket-keeper in the world. He also was one of the safest hands behind the wickets but the impact he had with the bat was just insane. The Protease was an explosive dynamo down the order and finished many games for the South African team.
Mark played more than 400 matches for South Africa in his 14 years long career but had to forcefully retire in 2011 when bails hit him on the eyes while keeping behind wickets. He was part of South Africa’s golden generation and produced many iconic moments. Boucher was also a good T20 batsman and his hitting ability down the order was commendable. Boucher is a name that can’t be missed in the list of best wicket-keeper in the world.
#3. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara needs no introduction and his legacy in international cricket is enough to tell the greatness of this Srilankan legend. He emerged through the ranks in the early 2000s and his impact on cricket is immense. He was a proper wicket-keeper batsman and scored tons of runs for Srilanka. He has an average of more than 55 in test cricket which is a rare sight despite playing more than 130 matches for Srilanka.
Sangakkara was a middle-order batsman unlike most of the wicket-keepers who usually bats down the order. Although he started as a lower-order batsman the talent he possessed made Srilankan management try up the order and we can clearly see results as he turned out to be one of the greatest of all time and is definitely one of the best wicket-keeper in the world.
#2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a former Indian wicket-keeper batsman and any introduction is not enough to describe the legacy of this legend. He not only had an impact with bat and gloves but how he dictated the game from behind the wickets is just remarkable. He made his debut for India in 2005 and was initially seen as a player with the brutal force who could be used as a floater or finisher down the order.
Dhoni eventually became one of the best finishers of the game but also played some electrifying innings at top of the order also. His innings of 183 against Srilanka is one of his most iconic innings. He was captain of India’s triumph in the 2007 World T20, 2011 World Cup, and in the 2013 Champions Trophy. He dictated the game just by keeping behind the wickets and is undoubtedly the best wicket-keeper in the world.
Dhoni retired from cricket in 2020 but is still active in the IPL. He has left a big mark on international cricket and his achievements might never be matched by anyone. Dhoni single-handedly won many matches for India and is one of few cricketers to hit multiple centuries coming 5th or lower in the batting order. Dhoni’s wicket-keeping skills are also a template for youngsters and his handwork is labeled as one of the best in the world.
#1. Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist is arguably the best wicket-keeper in the world and probably the most dominant cricketer to ever compete on a cricket field. If Sangakkara and Dhoni were the ones who left a rich legacy on world cricket then it was Adam Gilchrist who changed the view of world cricket towards the wicket-keeper’s position in the team. Gilchrist was an integral part of the great Australian generation that won three consecutive World Cups and it was Gilchrist who was the architect behind Australia’s triumph.
He made his debut for Australia in 1996 and like all wicket-keepers, he also started his career down the order because of his power-hitting ability, Steve Waugh decided to promote him to opening the innings, and in 1999, he was one of the biggest reasons behind Australia’s win in World Cup.
He played more than 350 matches for Australia and scored dozens of runs but it was the impact he had on the game. Gilchrist was very explosive and bowlers were terrified bowling to him. He was also a great keeper behind stumps and broke the jinx of standing near the stumps to fast bowlers. Adam Gilchrist retired from cricket in 2008 but will always be remembered as the best wicket-keeper in the world.
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