Top 10 Best Wicket Keepers In The World – MS Dhoni TO Adam Gilchrist

Wicket-keeping is one of the most specialized skills in the game of cricket. The role of the keeper is absolutely crucial to the success of any team. A top-class wicketkeeper can turn games with their glovework, athleticism and quick reflexes. Let’s look at the top 10 best wicket keepers in the world currently.

In this list, we will rank the finest keepers based on all formats – Tests, ODIs and T20Is. The rankings are determined by a combination of factors like career statistics, recent form, consistency, adaptability and overall impact.

So get ready as we count down the 10 most brilliant wicket-keeping superstars in the modern era!

1. Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist, the legendary Australian keeper-batsman has got to be on top of any list of greatest wicketkeepers of all time, let alone currently. Gilly, as he’s affectionately called, redefined the role of a wicketkeeper with his explosive batting.

With over 10,000 runs including 17 centuries at an astonishing strike rate of 96.9, Gilchrist was no mug with the bat either. His iconic 149 in the 2007 World Cup semis remains one of the greatest ODI innings ever.

Behind the stumps, Gilly was tidy and efficient, known for being swift on his feet. He holds the record for most dismissals as a keeper (100 catches + 55 stumpings) in Tests with a career spanning 1996 to 2008.

2. MS Dhoni

India’s MS Dhoni is undoubtedly the greatest limited overs wicketkeeper-batsman of all time. Dhoni has been a game changer for India over the past 15 years, rescuing the team on countless occasions.

MSD has scored over 10,000 ODI runs at a healthy average of 50. His keeping skills are top notch with a world record of 321 dismissals in ODIs. The ability to pull off lightning fast stumpings is Dhoni’s signature.

Leading India to glory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy makes Dhoni arguably India’s greatest cricket captain as well.

Also Check: Top 10 Fastest Stumping In Cricket

3. Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is undoubtedly among the greatest batsmen to don the keeping gloves. Sanga has an incredible batting average of 57.4 across all formats and over 28,000 international runs.

His wicketkeeping skills improved tremendously over time, evident from the ability to notch up a record 232 dismissals in tests and 482 overall. Sangakkara pulled off some breath-taking catches and stumpings during his career that spanned from 2000-2015.

Sangakkara’s dismissal of Mustafizur Rahman during the 2018 Nidahas Trophy final exemplified how fit and agile he still was even post retirement.

4. Quinton de Kock

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock is one of the most flamboyant wicketkeeper batsmen in the world currently. At just 29 years of age, he has already notched up over 6,500 ODI runs and nearly 4,000 Test runs at excellent averages of 45+ and 38 respectively.

De Kock is very balanced in his stance allowing him to shift and move rapidly for catches and stumpings. He has 225 ODI and 182 Test dismissals under his belt already.

Quinton holds the record for taking 6 catches in an ODI innings. With many years of cricket left in him, De Kock is set to become South Africa’s greatest ever keeper.

5. Jos Buttler

The keeper with probably the most eye-catching strokeplay currently is England’s Jos Buttler. Buttler has the ability to absolutely massacre bowlers on his day and change games in quick time.

At his best, nobody in the world can match Buttler’s hitting and audacious shotmaking prowess. But Jos has worked hard on his keeping as well, creditable standing up to the stumps even against express pace.

In Tests, his aerobic catches down the leg side and stumpings of spinners showcase Buttler’s excellent glovework. He already has 329 international dismissals at just age 32.

6. Mushfiqur Rahim

Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim is arguably the best wicketkeeper-batsman to emerge from his country. The diminutive Rahim packs a real punch with the bat with over 5,500 ODI runs and 4 centuries in Tests.

Rahim’s keeping has been very impressive considering Bangladesh’s spin dominance. He has 192 test dismissals already besides taking some excellent catches in limited overs matches.

The highlight of Rahim’s career is probably the stunning double century he scored against Sri Lanka in early 2022 pulling off a historic run chase in Galle.

7. Brendon McCullum

The man who kickstarted the T20 revolution globally is former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. Baz was one of the most intimidating dasher openers of his era and transformed the concept of test batting as well.

McCullum’s athleticism and energy created an entirely new dimension behind the stumps. His trademark flat throw technique was exceptionally quick.

Over 6,000 test runs and 71 catches showcase McCullum’s solid wicketkeeping skills along with his batting heroics. Brendon also holds the record for fastest test century (54 balls) against Australia in 2016 and best test innings of 302.

8. Niroshan Dickwella

Emerging Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella has earned a reputation for his fearless and maverick approach behind the stumps. Having debuted in 2013, the 29-year-old has already played 44 Tests and 117 ODIs for his country.

Niroshan’s impact is best defined by his unorthodox but effective keeping technique. His razor sharp reflexes help him pull off some stunning catches and stumpings like the iconic surface back-flick.

With over 3,000 international runs and 174 dismissals already, Dickwella seems ready to cement his legacy as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest wicket-keeping talents.

9. Jonny Bairstow

The man currently lighting up test cricket with his explosive batting is England’s Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow has the capability to completely take apart opposition bowling attacks on his day.

His robustly solid technique both behind and in front of the stumps makes Bairstow one of the most reliable wicket-keepers today. Jonny has 180 catches and 19 stumpings across formats along with over 6,500 international runs.

At just 32 years of age, Bairstow has many more years of world-class wicket-keeping performance left in him. His raw passion and natural flair make Bairstow a real crowd favorite.

10. Rishabh Pant

If we had to pick one keeper on raw potential alone, India’s Rishabh Pant would be right up there. The talented 24-year-old has already pulled off some game changing performances since his debut in 2017.

Pant’s fearless big-hitting ability adds great firepower to India’s batting whether opening or closing. His skill behind the stumps has improved tremendously evidenced by some acrobatic catches and smart stumpings.

With centuries in Australia, England and South Africa already, Rishabh has demonstrated that he relishes a challenge. Pant has many years ahead to hone his skills and become India’s next legendary wicket-keeping superstar.

11. Mohammad Rizwan

Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan is recognized as one of the top wicket-keeper batsmen in the world currently. At just 30 years old, he has already played 49 Tests, 85 ODIs and 61 T20Is for Pakistan. Rizwan is praised for his calm and composed batting style combined with solid keeping skills. He holds the record for most T20I runs and dismissals by a keeper.

12. BJ Watling

Recently retired New Zealand stalwart BJ Watling was among the most technically sound wicket-keepers of the modern era. Debuting in 2009, Watling played over 70 Tests and scored over 3,500 runs with 7 centuries showcasing his batting skills. His agility and low crouching stance made Watling a highly effective keeper. He finished with 265 Test dismissals.

Key Skills of Top Wicket Keepers

So what are the qualities that make for a truly world-class wicket keeper? Here are the main skills and traits:

  • Swift reflexes – Sharp instincts to react instantly to edges and movement.
  • Flexible body – Agile and athletic to move in any direction quickly.
  • Safe hands – The ability to cleanly grab tough chances inspires confidence.
  • Split second judgement – Making the right decision to go for catch vs stumping.
  • Stamina – Keeping is physically intensive and requires great endurance.
  • Intelligence – Reading bowlers, batters and game situations.
  • Concentration – Staying focused and alert every single delivery.
  • Contribution with bat – More than just a keeper, batting skills add huge value.
  • Leadership – Most keepers naturally develop good captaincy skills.
  • Attitude – Confidence, energy and will to win.

The best keepers in the world combine these qualities and bring immense value to their team’s success. Wicket-keeping may seem easy watching on TV but requires an incredibly wide skillset.

Evolution of Wicket Keeping Role

The role of the wicketkeeper has evolved tremendously since the early days of cricket in terms of:

  • Responsibilities – Greater emphasis on scoring runs and leadership along with keeping.
  • Fitness Levels – Dramatically improved athleticism, agility and reflexes.
  • Intensity – Far more aggressive and energetic approach on field.
  • Innovation – More unorthodox techniques both in keeping and batting.
  • Technology – Use of protective gear, DRS to aid decision making.
  • Athleticism – Fielding standards and throwing accuracy is vastly superior.

While the core job remains largely the same, top keepers today are true all-round athletes with an attacking mindset. Just pure glovework is not enough anymore.

Importance of Wicketkeeper in Cricket

The wicketkeeper is one of the most crucial roles in a cricket team’s balance. Here is why the keeper’s contribution is so vital:

  • Custodian behind the stumps saving runs.
  • Taking catches to dismiss opposition batters.
  • Stumpings add to bowling’s wicket taking potency.
  • Advising captain on field placements and bowling changes.
  • Sledging batters to break their concentration.
  • Running out batsmen with quick throws.
  • Providing depth to batting lineup.
  • Leading and motivating the team as vice-captain / captain.
  • Partnering tail-end batsmen in key stands.

No other position has such diverse skillset and impact on the game. A top class keeper is a captain’s dream asset on the field.

These are just some of the common debates among cricket fans globally regarding keepers. Feel free to share your opinions too!

Conclusion

In closing, wicket-keeping is truly a highly specialized craft in cricket performed by some extraordinarily talented athletes. We have highlighted the top 10 doing duty currently led by the legendary Adam Gilchrist and MS Dhoni.

The role has evolved tremendously from being just a glovesman to a genuine all-rounder crucial to the team’s fortunes. It will be exciting to see more youngsters take up keeping and bring their own dash of innovation and athleticism.

So what do you think of our top 10 wicketkeepers in the world right now? Let us know your thoughts and if you agree with the rankings!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common queries fans have regarding the top wicket keepers in cricket:

1. Who is the best wicketkeeper of all time?

Most experts and fans rate Adam Gilchrist as the greatest Test and ODI wicketkeeper ever due to his phenomenal batting and neat keeping.

2. Is MS Dhoni a better keeper or batsman?

While Dhoni is an excellent ODI batsman, his true greatness lies more in his lightning fast wicket-keeping skills and reflexes.

3. Who is faster between Dhoni and Gilchrist in stumpings?

MS Dhoni has performed some of the swiftest stumpings ever seen, even faster than his idol Adam Gilchrist on occasion.

4. Who is the best keeper in IPL history?

MS Dhoni with over 150 dismissals holds the record for most dismissals by a keeper in IPL history.

5. Who is the current best wicketkeeper in the world?

Most experts today rate Quinton de Kock as the best keeper across formats ahead of Buttler, Pant and others.

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