Today we discuss, analyze, and rank the 15 best wicket keepers of all time in cricket. Read on…
We all have heard the amazing stories of how goalkeepers weaved magic by collecting a football in mid-air and stopping a goal.
It is no different in Cricket except for the size of the ball. We are talking about wicket-keeping, the most underrated profession in the game of cricket.
This meritorious activity requires constant sit-ups on every ball, an eagle’s eye to grab it, all while standing quietly behind three wooden sticks!
This job is a combination of catching, stumping, decision making while reviewing and providing insights regarding the batsman activity from behind the stumps.
All of that, in front of a ball travelling as fast as 150 Kph, on different kinds of pitches.
Wicket-keeping, in reality, is a relatively tougher job than it seems. This post needs a specialist to excel at it.
There hasn’t been a lot of wicket-keepers that made themselves known in the world of cricket but some have got all of our hearts.
Top 15 Best Wicket Keepers of All Time
Below are our picks for the best wicket keepers of all time:
|13.||Dinesh Ramdin||West Indies||468|
|12.||Quinton de Kock||South Africa||468|
|11.||Jeff Dujon||West Indies||474|
|5.||Brendon McCullum||New Zealand||453|
|4.||Mark Boucher||South Africa||952|
|2.||Kumar Sangakkara||Sri Lanka||678|
15. Mushfiqur Rahim
Kicking off our list of the best wicket keepers of all time is Mushfiqur Rahim.
Mushfiqur is a right-handed wicket-keeper batsman who has been a stalwart for the Bangladesh national cricket team.
He is a fine middle-order batsman but his wicket-keeping skills have been legendary for Bangladesh cricket despite his average height.
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Behind the wickets, he has done a selfless job while wearing gloves. He also captained the team in some matches. He is still a part of the leadership group in the team.
Rahim made his Test debut against England in 2005 and ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2006. He reached the milestone of 400 dismissals in 2021 in an ODI against West Indies.
In 396 international matches, he has bagged 407 dismissals of which 317 are catches and 90 are stumpings.
Rahim left wicket-keeping in Test cricket in 2019 and he is not interested in white-ball games too. But he has continued to contribute with the bat for Bangladesh.
He still has a bit of cricket left in him. His fans would want more from him.
14. Andy Flower
Andy Flower was a wicket-keeper batsman who hailed from Zimbabwe. He was one the greatest cricketers to ever play for Zimbabwe.
He also captained the national team. Andy was a quality test batsman and his wicket-keeping skills were something that helped in the upliftment of Zimbabwe cricket.
It might have been a tough job to play for all these years while not having good support from other players but he never gave up on his commitment.
He made his Test debut against India and ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 1992. He started his career with a hundred for Zimbabwe.
He was unfortunately the sole performer of the team. The fact that he was a captain while keeping the gloves makes his worth in the team even more formidable.
In 276 international matches, he dismissed 316 batsmen while having 275 catches and 41 stumpings. His best in an innings while keeping was 5 catches.
He announced his retirement after the 2003 World Cup. Zimbabwe cricket would have been missing his services in these tough times
13. Dinesh Ramdin
Dinesh Ramdin is one of the busiest cricketers on Earth to play this. He has been a part of almost every league, big or small, that has happened in various countries.
But he has contributed a lot with his bat and gloves for the West Indies cricket team over the years.
He remained a wicket keeping mainstay for the national team across formats before he was sidelined in the latter stages of his career.
Ramdin made his ODI and Test debut in 2005 and T20I debut in 2006 against New Zealand. He has a record of most dismissals, 4, in an innings of a T20I match.
In 284 international matches, he dismissed 468 batsmen with 429 catches and 39 stumpings. His best while keeping is 5 catches in an innings.
Random played his last Test and ODI in 2016 after which he hasn’t been a part of the West Indies cricket international set-up, but he has played his part for the country.
12. Quinton De Kock
Quinton De Kock is a typical South African talent. He bats as an opener and never provides a dull moment for the fans.
But apart from his batting, he has taken over the position of wicket-keeper of the South African team and has become the mainstay. His acrobatic skills make him a superior lad behind the wickets.
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He made his ODI debut against New Zealand in 2013 and Test debut against Australia in 2014. In 2014 he became the fastest keeper to have 50 dismissals in ODIs in 30 ODIs.
He has played 243 matches in which he has taken 433 catches and 35 stumpings which adds to his total of 468 dismissals. His best to date is 6 catches in an innings.
De Kock is still young and has a lot of cricket left inside him. South African management would hope that he continues to play like this in upcoming years.
11. Jeff Dujon
Jeff Dujon is a West Indian veteran who played for the national team when they were next to formidable.
That golden era West Indies team has given all the stars and Jeff Dujon was one of them. He was an above par batsman.
He was not a regular keeper but as he started playing, his keeping skills evolved into a great asset for the team.
As a batsman, he contributed more than enough at the lower order. He remained an important player for the team for many years.
Dujon made his ODI debut against Pakistan and Test debut against Australia in 1981.
In 250 international appearances, he took a total of 474 dismissals while taking 448 catches and 26 stumpings. His best was 5 catches in an innings.
He retired in 1991, the same year in which the great Malcolm Marshall and Sir Vivian Richards also made their retirement.
Dujon would surely go down as the best West Indian wicket-keeper to ever play the game.
10. Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler is a raw talent from England who whacks the ball like no other. He is a natural attacker of the ball who also has orthodox elegance while creaming the ball.
His skills while wearing gloves makes him an important part of the English team that has no shortage of quality wicket-keepers.
Maintaining a keeping position in a competitive team is not that easy but Buttler has made it.
Butter made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 2012 and Test debut against India in 2014.
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In 283 international matches, he has grabbed 374 dismissals including 374 catches and 42 stumpings. His best is 6 catches in an innings.
He currently opens the batting in T20Is and plays as a middle-order batsman in ODIs and Tests.
He is continuously proving his worth in the team ahead of other competitors. He is 31 and looking at his fitness he would surely play for 7,8 more years.
England would be a happier side looking at his potential.
9. Brad Haddin
Brad Haddin was a fine Australian wicket-keeper who has to wait for his chances because of the presence of another great keeper Adam Gilchrist.
After he was gone, Haddin made it to a permanent wicket-keeping option for Australia across formats though he mostly played white-ball games.
But his keeping skills were an asset for the Kangaroo team. He also played an important role in the 2015 World Cup win. His batting was also a positive for the team.
Haddin made his ODI debut in 2001 against Zimbabwe and Test debut in 2008 against West Indies.
In 226 international matches, he has taken 474 scalps with 449 catches and 25 stumpings. His best was 6 catches in an innings.
Haddin announced his retirement from ODI after the 2015 World Cup win. He played fewer matches as compared to other of his counterparts but his impact was above par.
Australia would surely be grateful for the contributions he made.
8. Rod Marsh
Rod Marsh is another Australian veteran who used to bat with his left hand. He cemented his place in the team with purely his batting prowess.
He did not do too well with the gloves at the dawn of his career but as time passed, he honed his keeping aptitudes. Soon, he became inevitably fast behind the stumps.
By the end of his career, he became one of the greatest wicket-keepers to play the game in his time.
Rod made his Test debut in 1970 against England and his ODI debut in 1971 against the same team.
He played 188 international matches and got 479 legendary dismissals while catching 463 of them and stumping 16. His best was 6 catches in an innings.
Marsh retired from cricket after the 1983-84 season due to the dip in his batting form.
He didn’t play too many matches for the West Indies but he made much important assistance when the team needed it.
7. Ian Healy
Ian Healy was another legend who hailed from Australia. He was a fine batter who used to handle the pressure situation well but it was his wicket-keeping that made him be remembered as one of the greatest in the game.
He was a flash behind the wickets. His vigour and enthusiasm while keeping were next to genius.
Though he was not a go-to keeping option in his initial phase, he took his game to another level in successive years.
Healy made his Test and ODI debut against Pakistan in 1988.
He played 287 international matches for Australia in which he dismissed 628 batsmen while taking 560 catches and 68 stumpings. His best was 6 catches in an innings.
He made his retirement from international and other forms of cricket in 1999. He then moved his career to commentary after retiring from cricket.
He is certainly one of the best wicket keepers of all time.
6. Moin Khan
Next up on our list of the best wicket keepers of all time is Moin Khan.
Moin is considered a Pakistan legend for his remarkable services with gloves behind the wickets.
He was taken into the team based on his batting skills as he did not have that much influence with gloves in the initial phase of his career but as he got a permanent slot in the team, his keeping skills also began to improve.
After some time, he became a reputed wicket-keeper for Pakistan. He also led the national team Test and 34 ODI matches.
Moin Khan made his Test and ODI debut in 1990 against West Indies.
He played 288 international matches for Pakistan in which he took 434 dismissals while taking 341 catches and 93 stumpings. His best was 5 catches in an innings.
He announced his retirement from international cricket in 2005 though he continued to play domestic cricket. By far, he was the best wicket-keeper to ever play for Pakistan.
His services behind the wickets uplifted the Pakistan team, earning him a spot on our list of the best wicket keepers of all time.
5. Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum was one cricketer from New Zealand who entirely transformed the national team from an underdog to a cricket superpower in the World in every format of the game.
He was a fine leader but before that, he was a dazzling batsman who could hit a ball at his will irrespective of the speed, pitch, conditions.
He also bridged the gap of wicket keeping in the team throughout his career and showed his skills with the gloves.
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Baz got his ODI cap in 2002 against Australia and Test cap in 2004 against South Africa. In 432 matches he took 453 snaps with 419 catches and 34 stumpings.
His best was 5 catches in an innings.
He played his last ODI against Australia in 2016 in which he made 47 runs off 27 and in his last Test match, he hit the fastest ever hundred of the format as he made 145 of just 79 balls.
It didn’t seem like it was his retirement time. New Zealand will forever miss a player like him.
No one can replace Brendon McCullum.
4. Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher was a right-handed wicket-keeper batsman from South Africa who was not an instant attractive looking batsman but used to give effective contributions to the team.
His potential strength was wicket keeping that made him a go-to choice to play him in the national team irrespective of the big talks about his bat.
His keeping skills were truly unmatched and elegant at the same time.
Boucher made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1997 and his ODI debut against New Zealand in 1998.
In 467 matches, he made 998 dismissals which is the record highest number. He took 952 catches and 46 stumpings. His bets were 6 catches in an innings.
After a 15 year long career, Boucher had the unluckiest end as he was forced to retire after a bail hit his eyes badly in a warm-up game in 2012.
He would have done many great things otherwise. But still, he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest South African wicket keepers to ever play the game.
3. Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist was one of the most reliable cricketers to play for Australia.
He was an out of the world left-handed naturally attacking batsman whose keeping skills were as raw as his other talents in the game.
He opened for Australia in white-ball cricket while he batted as a finisher in Test matches.
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He was a calm and composed figure and equally honest gentleman of the game which was quite rare in the Kangaroo team.
He made his ODI debut against South Africa in 1996 and Test debut against Pakistan in 1999. In 396 international matches, he gained 905 dismissals with 813 catches and 92 stumpings.
Gilchrist made a sudden announcement to retire after a test match against India but before that he had already become the greatest wicket-keeper batsman of all time.
He completely changed the perception of keeping gloves. He revolutionised it.
2. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara was a Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman who used to bat with his left hand. His elegance while playing orthodox shots was just jaw-dropping.
His cover drive was probably one of the best sights in this game of cricket. Apart from his batting, his wicket-keeping was legendary which defined many crucial moments in the games for Sri Lanka.
In subcontinent conditions, his keeping was second to only MS Dhoni.
He made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 2000 and Test debut against South Africa in the same year.
In 594 matches, he dismissed 678 batsmen that include 539 catches and 139 stumpings.
Sangakkara retired after the 2015 World Cup. He made a record of 4 consecutive tons in a single edition of World Cup in 2015 in his last appearances.
He will always be remembered as one of the greatest cricketers to ever play for Sri Lanka.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni is one of the greatest cricket personality to emerge from India.
He was a complete package of skill, talent, calmness, composure, humbleness and what not. He was, undisputedly, the best finisher of the game, especially in white-ball cricket.
No one played the situation better than him. His leadership had no bound as he gave everything to the Indian cricket team that was needed.
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But if we analyse deeper, we find that his wicket-keeping was nothing short of magic. The professionalism he showed in this particular job is beyond anyone’s ingenuity.
The athleticism, rapidity and reflexes he showed behind the wicket were the things of genius.
He made his ODI debut in 2004, Test debut in 2005 and T20I debut in 2006. He had an unorthodox style of keeping the gloves but still he was most effective of all.
His best reaction time while collecting the ball and smashing out the bails was 0.09, a near-impossible feat!
In 537 international matches, he grabbed 829 dismissals that comprise 634 catches and 195 record stumpings.
He announced his retirement in 2020 in the pandemic year. He still plays the IPL and we are fortunate to see more of him a bit.
His presence on the field is a grace to the eyes.
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So, this was our list of the 15 best wicket keepers of all time. There are many other underrated keepers like Dinesh Karthik, Kamran Akmal, Wriddhiman Saha etc.
They have been a grace to this game. Their presence ensures the little moments to be seized in a match and result in defining the win for their team.
Young keepers like Rishabh Pant, Shai Hope, Alex Carey have to carry a lot of hopes due to their predecessors. We hope they do well in the coming future.
Which wicket keeper deserved to be on our list of the best wicket keepers of all time? Do let us know by tweeting us @weknowcricket
2 thoughts on “The Top 15 Best Wicket Keepers of All Time”
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