Having a good wicketkeeper in your team is a pre-requisite for any cricketing team that’s striving for consistent success. No longer a role that requires one to just keep things tidy behind the stumps, the modern-day gloveman must carry his weight with the bat as well. That said, their primary job still remains effecting the game from behind the stumps and passing on information that can help captains and bowlers.
Ensuring that they hold their end of the bargain in dismissing batsmen is another crucial attribute that glovemen must possess and here we look at the most dismissals by an Indian wicketkeeper in a single Test innings.
Second on the list for most dismissals (198) by an Indian wicketkeeper in Tests, Syed Kirmani’s six dismissals in a single innings is the joint most. He achieved this feat in the second innings of the second Test of India’s tour to New Zealand in 1976. Kirmani was involved in six dismissals, five of which were catches and the other being a stumping. Although the match ended in a draw, Kirmani’s record has since been matched by many Indian wicketkeepers without any of them managing to surpass him more than four decades later.
One wicketkeeper who managed to equal Kirmani’s feat is India’s World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni. Top of the leaderboard for most dismissals (294) by an Indian wicketkeeper in cricket’s oldest format, Dhoni’s record six dismissals also took place against New Zealand. Behind the stumps during the second innings of the third Test of India’s 2009 tour of New Zealand, Dhoni took six catches. He also made 52 in India’s first innings and was unbeaten on 56 in the second as India played out a draw with the Kiwis but won the series.
Perhaps the best Indian wicketkeeper in recent times based entirely on his glovework, Wriddhiman Saha has the honour of being the record holder for joint-most dismissals in an innings by an Indian gloveman. He achieved the feat in the second innings of the first Test of India’s tour to West Indies in 2016. Saha, who had made a handy 40 in India’s first innings, took five catches and completed a stumping while West Indies were following on. India eventually won the match and clinched the series 2-0.
The other Indian wicketkeeper to have claimed six dismissals in a single innings apart from the three players above is Rishabh Pant. The explosive left-hander has been involved in 61 dismissals in his career so far and has the opportunity to improve on that with time on his side. He claimed six dismissals in the second innings of the first Test of India’s tour of Australia in 2018. Pant also took five catches in Australia’s second innings and went past Dhoni as well as Saha for a new Indian record of most catches by a wicketkeeper in a single match. He ended up equaling the world record by claiming 11 dismissals and helping India win the match by 31 runs.
The oldest entry on this list, Budhi Kunderan was involved in three catches and two stumpings in the opening innings of the first Test of England’s tour to India in 1961. Kunderan featured in a total of 28 dismissals over the course of his 18-match Test career. Five of those 28 dismissals came in the opening innings of the first Test against England in what was his best-ever personal returns in terms of contributing towards wickets in a single innings.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe