Wicket-keeping is a thankless job and perhaps the most under-appreciated skill on a cricket field. Yet, they are always in the thick of action from behind the stumps and remain the most vital cog in a fielding team's assessment of a batsman, perhaps why a lot of them are great captaincy materials. Here we look at five international keepers with the most dismissals in their career for the country across formats.
South Africa's Mark Boucher finished agonisingly short of 1000 dismissals in international cricket as he finished on 998 after a freak accident that ended his career prematurely. Boucher suffered from an on-field accident where the bail went on to hit his eye and he never again played for the Proteas. He took 952 catches and made 46 stumpings in his 15-year career that came to an end in 2012.
Adam Gilchrist will always be recognised as the man who revolutionised the role of a wicket-keeper from a man behind the stumps to one who could inflict damage in front of the stumps too. But the Australian was quite street-smart as a keeper and finished with 905 dismissals in 391 games across formats, a rate of 1.865 dismissals per innings. He took 813 catches and made 92 stumpings in his career.
A fantastic keeper with cheeky skills, MS Dhoni will probably add to his existing tally of 829 dismissals as an international keeper but it's unlikely that he will jump past Gilchrist in the list. Dhoni effected a record 195 stumpings and had a dismissal rate of 1.363 in his international career as a keeper. Incidentally, he played a lot more games than Boucher and Gilchrist.
The veteran Sri Lankan keeper-turned-batsman never kept wickets for a lot of games in his career, yet ended up as the keeper with the fourth most dismissals in international cricket, primarily due to his longevity. Sangakkara was a fine keeper-batsman and finished with 671 scalps from behind the stumps, 139 of which were stumped.
Often hailed as a technically correct keeper, Ian Healy was unlucky to be sidelined towards the end of his career by a stupendous Adam Gilchrist and perhaps deserved a higher place in this list. He finished his career in 1999 with 628 dismissals in just 287 games as a keeper, a dismissal rate of 1.602 dismissals per innings. He took 560 catches and inflicted 68 stumpings in his career for Australia across Tests and One Day Internationals.
Feature image courtesy: AFP