Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is one of the best the game of cricket has seen — even in batting. He was one of the pillars of the Australian team that had dominated the cricketing world in the 2000s. Gilchrist is the second most successful gloveman in the history with 905 dismissals across formats, only after South Africa’s Mark Boucher who has 998. Gilchrist, however, has played three years less than his rival.
When the 48-year-old was recently asked to name the best wicket-keeper at the moment, he bypassed some of the most familiar names around, like Wriddhiman Saha, Quinton de Kock and Jos Buttler. Gilchrist rather settled for New Zealand’s Bradley-John Watling, who recently hit a career-best double century against England in a home Test series. Gilchrist feels Watling is ahead because of his consistency.
“BJ Watling, best keeper-batsman in the world at the moment. Particularly in this format (Test). He just looks so hungry. He’s the most successful statistically for New Zealand, ever and they have had a line of some terrific wicketkeepers,” Adam Gilchrist was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“He’s fresh off a double ton. I think he’s scored 8 or 9 Test hundreds and averages 40. So, show me another certainly statistically better keeper-batsman in the world that’s done it for a consistent amount of time. I am not sure there is,” he added.
BJ Watling set to play Australia next
Watling, 34, who is set to play Australia in a three-Test series starting in Perth on Thursday, made his international debut in 2009 though, in a decade, he has played only 65 Tests, 28 ODIs and five T20Is, scoring around 4,000 runs and claiming 238 scalps. He has an ordinary average against Australia though — around 25 in seven matches.
Speaking about the captain-wicket-keeper of his own country Tim Paine, Gilchrist said his glovework is at par with the best but his batting doesn’t belong to that level. He also called South Africa’s de Kock a great entertainer but added that he has not been as consistent as Watling who averages above 40 in the long format.
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