THE WICKETKEEPER. He plays such a crucial role for any side, irrespective of the format of the game. A good wicketkeeper with sound technique gives confidence to the bowlers, a good wicket-keeper can even give suggestions to the captain as to how a field can be set as he has a good view of the entire playing arena.
A good wicketkeeper can take a stunning catch and alter the momentum of the match. A good wicket-keeper can stun the batsman with a quick stumping that can catch the willow wielder off guard. And of course, a good wicket-keeper can go out and score runs with the willow as well. The Indian Premier League (IPL) too, has seen some brilliant wicket keepers donning the gloves behind the stumps.
Ahead of the 14th IPL edition, let us rank the wicket-keepers of all the 8 IPL sides. It is important to note here that the wicketkeepers will be ranked primarily based on their ability behind the stumps. So, let’s get started.
Here are the rankings of the wicketkeepers going into the 2021 IPL:
8. KL Rahul (PBKS)
At the 8th place, we have the skipper of the Punjab Kings outfit, KL Rahul. The main reason why Rahul occupies 8th place is because he is a batsman who can keep, and not the other way round. Rahul has kept in 50 innings in the IPL and has 37 dismissals against his name.
While he has taken 32 catches behind the stumps, he also has 5 stumpings to his credit. Rahul plays the role of the ‘multi tasker’ in the Punjab Kings side. He is the skipper of the Punjab side, he plays a key role at the top of the order for his side with the willow, and he also dons the wicket-keeping gloves.
Rahul won the Orange Cap award in the 2020 edition of the IPL. The right-hander plundered 670 runs last year and scored them at an average of 55.83. Even though Rahul dons the keeper’s gloves, his main role in the side is to provide good starts at the top of the order with the willow.
7. Rishabh Pant (DC)
Rishabh Pant’s keeping abilities have been under doubt for some time now. While Pant is a decent keeper, there have been occasions where he has grassed a straightforward catch or has missed a relatively easy stumping.
In his IPL career, Pant has kept in 58 innings and has dismissed 54 batsmen. Out of the 54, 43 of them are catches, while 11 are stumpings. With the bat, Pant is a batsman who can rip apart any bowling attack. The left-hander has scored 2079 runs in the IPL and has scored them at a whopping strike rate of 151.97.
Pant is only 23, and still has a long way to go in his IPL career. And, with the passage of time, he will surely improve his skills behind the stumps.
6. AB de Villiers (RCB)
He can play dazzling shots off perfectly good deliveries. He can pluck stunning catches in the outfield. In fact, there is literally nothing that AB de Villiers cannot do on a cricket field. And definitely, he can don the wicket-keeping gloves for his side when the need arises. The main reason why De Villiers ranks at No.6 is because he is a batsman who can keep, and is mainly in the side for his abilities as a batsman.
De Villiers has done the keeping duties in 44 of the 169 matches that he has played in the IPL. And, he has 26 dismissals to his credit. While 8 of them are stumpings, the rest of them are catches pouched behind the stumps. But then, it is De Villiers’ ability as a batsman that will make us gape at him all day.
The South African batting legend has scored a staggering 4849 runs in IPL cricket and has scored them at an average in excess of 40 (40.40). His strike rate across 156 IPL innings is a whopping 151.91. Needless to say, De Villiers will be a vital weapon in the RCB arsenal in the 2021 edition of the IPL.
5. Jos Buttler (RR)
The 5th place is occupied by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) keeper Jos Buttler. The England cricketer is a powerful striker of the cricket ball and is a very handy batsman at the top of the order. Behind the stumps too, Buttler does an extremely tidy job.
He has donned the wicket-keeping gloves in 30 innings in IPL cricket and has dismissed 21 batsmen. While 20 of them have been catches, he also has a solitary stumping against his name. With the willow, Buttler has an excellent record in IPL cricket. The right-hander has scored 1714 runs at an average of 34.98. He also scores his runs at an excellent strike rate of 149.56.
The 30-year-old will play a key role for the Rajasthan Royals outfit both with the bat as well as behind the stumps this year.
4. Dinesh Karthik (KKR)
He has truckloads of experience in IPL cricket. Dinesh Karthik is a seasoned professional both with the bat as well as behind the stumps in the IPL. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) veteran is the second wicketkeeper (apart from MS Dhoni) who has dismissed more than 100 batsmen in the IPL.
Karthik has kept wickets in a colossal 180 innings and has dismissed 140 batsmen with his gloves behind the stumps. While he has taken 110 catches, he has also caught 30 batsmen outside the crease as well. With the bat too, Karthik has aggregated some impressive numbers. The Kolkata keeper has scored close to 4000 (3823) IPL runs and has scored them at an average of 26.01.
In the previous IPL edition, Karthik produced an ordinary performance with the bat, where he aggregated just 169 runs. While his keeping skills were satisfactory last year in the UAE, Karthik will be hoping that he can match his keeping ability with runs with the bat as well.
3. Wridhimann Saha (SRH)
His abilities with the gloves are exemplary. Wridhimann Saha can fly mid-air and pouch stunners behind the stumps. And, even when he is standing up to the stumps for spinners, Saha can take the bails off in a flash. And, Saha also has the numbers to back his position at No.3 in the list.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) wicketkeeper has 77 dismissals against his name as a keeper. While he has pouched 57 catches, Saha also has 20 stumpings to his credit. With the bat too, Saha can be handy.
The diminutive right-hander has scored close to 2000 (1979) runs in the IPL and has scored his runs at a decent average of 25.70. He has also scored a solitary century in IPL cricket. The 36-year-old will continue to play a key role behind the stumps for the David Warner-led side in the 2021 IPL edition.
2. Quinton De Kock (MI)
The second place is taken by Mumbai Indians’ wicket-keeping dynamite Quinton De Kock. De Kock has got quick hands, both with the bat as well as with the wicket-keeping gloves. An edge from the batsman seldom escapes De Kock’s grasp behind the stumps, and the South African has taken some stunners with the gloves.
And, the Mumbai keeper has also aggregated some impressive numbers as the keeper. De Kock has kept in 59 innings in the IPL and has dismissed 58 batsmen. While 12 of them are stumpings, 46 of the dismissals against his name are catches.
As a batsman too, De Kock has set the IPL on fire. In the 66 innings that he has played in IPL cricket, the left-hander has scored 1959 runs and has scored them at an average of 31.60 and at a strike rate of 133.54. At the age of 28, De Kock has already proven that he is one of the best wicketkeepers in the IPL.
1. MS Dhoni (CSK)
Was there any doubt about who would grab the top spot? In fact, many readers would have possibly guessed that this man’s name would be on top of the list the moment they saw the title. Such is the greatness of the CSK skipper; such is the aura that MS Dhoni exudes behind the stumps.
No wicket-keeper in IPL history can claim to be better than Dhoni, as he is a complete package. He is extremely safe when he takes catches with the gloves, and can also catch the batsman short of his ground by affecting sensational runouts. But then, it is his ‘stumping’ ability that has grasped the attention of the cricketing world. In fact, such is Dhoni’s stature, that the moment he appeals for a stumping, the on-field umpire automatically refers the decision to the third umpire.
And, the numbers too back the CSK legend. Dhoni has played as a keeper 197 times in the IPL and has dismissed 148 batsmen. While 109 of those dismissals are catches, 39 of them are stumpings. Dhoni will also go down as one of the greatest batsmen in IPL cricket. The CSK batting behemoth has scored 4632 runs in the IPL and has scored them at a colossal average of 40.99.
Dhoni has also led the CSK outfit to 3 IPL titles. While he retired from international cricket in August 2020, Dhoni will continue to lead the ‘yellow brigade’ in the 2021 edition of the IPL.
Note: All the stats have been taken from Cricinfo and iplt20.com and have been updated as of 1st March 2021.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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