All about Test cricket wicketkeepers - Part I

We now take a look at wicketkeepers in the five-day format. The first part of this series analyses performances as a keeper-batsman.

Adam Gilchrist is the leading run-getter in Test as a wicketkeeper.   -  AP

Since the very beginning of cricket, a wicketkeeper’s skill has always been applied behind the wickets. His most important skill is his ability to catch the ball, be it with one hand or both, either from a nearly stationary position standing close to the batsman or affecting a quick dive or sprint, or even a stumping. However, in modern-day cricket, a ’keeper’s job specs are not only to perform well behind the wickets in terms of taking catches, executing stumpings and limiting the number of byes, but to also perform well as a batsman. Therefore, the position is of a specialist or an all-rounder in the playing XI.

READ| The leading batsmen among Test captains

Our previous four statistical pieces were on Test captains, so we now take a look at wicketkeepers in the five-day format. The first part of the series analyses performances as a keeper-batsman.

Highest Test scores by wicketkeepers

232*Andy FlowerZimbabweIndiaNagpurNovember 29, 2000Drawn
230Kumar SangakkaraSri LankaPakistanLahoreMarch 7, 2002Won
224M. S. DhoniIndiaAustraliaChennaiFebruary 25, 2013Won
219*Mushfiqur RahimBangladeshZimbabweMirpurNovember 12, 2018Won
210*Taslim ArifPakistanAustraliaFaisalabadMarch 11, 1980Drawn


Highest scores by wicketkeeper-batsmen for other Test sides

205Bradley-John WatlingNew ZealandEnglandMt MaunganuiNovember 24, 2019Won
204*Adam GilchristAustraliaSouth AfricaJohannesburgFebruary 23, 2002Won
182Dennis LindsaySouth AfricaAustraliaJohannesburgDecember 27, 1966Won
173Alec StewartEnglandNew ZealandAucklandJanuary 26, 1997Drawn
168*Clyde WalcottWest IndiesEnglandLord’sJune 28, 1950Won
48*Afsar ZazaiAfghanistanBangladeshChittagong (DS)September 8, 2019Won
18Niall O’BrienIrelandPakistanMalahideMay 14, 2018Lost
17Mark BoucherWorld XIAustraliaSydneyOctober 17, 2005Lost


Progressive highest Test scores by wicketkeepers – how the record changed hands

66Edmund TylecoteEnglandAustraliaMelbourneJanuary 26, 1883Won
82Affie Jarvis+AustraliaEnglandMelbourneJanuary 3, 1885Lost
134*Harry WoodEnglandSouth AfricaCape TownMarch 21, 1892Won
149Leslie AmesEnglandWest IndiesKingstonApril 4, 1930Drawn
152Clyde WalcottWest IndiesIndiaDelhiNovember 11, 1948Drawn
168*Clyde WalcottWest IndiesEnglandLord’sJune 28, 1950Won
209Imtiaz AhmedPakistanNew ZealandLahoreOctober 30, 1955Won
210*Taslim ArifPakistanAustraliaFaisalabadMarch 11, 1980Drawn
232*Andy FlowerZimbabweIndiaNagpurNovember 29, 2000Drawn

+ Jarvis was on his Test debut.

Highest Test scores by wicketkeepers at each batting position

Batting positionScoreKeeper-batsmanCountryOpponentVenueDateResult
1st210*Taslim ArifPakistanAustraliaFaisalabadMarch 11, 1980Drawn
2nd201*Brendon KuruppuSri LankaNew ZealandColombo (CCC)April 19, 1987Drawn
3rd230Kumar SangakkaraSri LankaPakistanLahoreMarch 7, 2002Won
4th164Alec StewartEnglandSouth AfricaManchesterJuly 6, 1998Drawn
5th232*Andy FlowerZimbabweIndiaNagpurNovember 29, 2000Drawn
6th224M. S. Dhoni+IndiaAustraliaChennaiFebruary 25, 2013Won
7th204*Adam GilchristAustraliaSouth AfricaJohannesburgFebruary 23, 2002Won
8th209Imtiaz AhmedPakistanNew ZealandLahoreOctober 30, 1955Won
9th173Ian SmithNew ZealandIndiaAucklandFebruary 23, 1990Drawn
10th74Jack Blackman+AustraliaEnglandSydneyDecember 15, 1894Lost
11th60*Wasim BariPakistanWest IndiesBridgetownFebruary 22, 1977Drawn

+ Was also captain.

Leading run-getters in Tests as wicketkeeper

5,570Adam GilchristAustralia9613747.60November 5, 1999-January 28, 2008
5,515Mark Boucher+South Africa14720630.30October 17, 1997-March 27, 2012
4,876M. S. DhoniIndia9014438.09December 2, 2005-December 30, 2014
4,540Alec StewartEngland8214534.92January 25, 1991-September 8, 2003
4,404Andy FlowerZimbabwe5510053.70October 18, 1992-January 15, 2002
4,389Alan KnottEngland9514932.75August 10, 1967-September 1, 1981
4,356Ian HealyAustralia11918227.40September 13, 1988-October 17, 1999
4,099Matt PriorEngland7912340.19May 17, 2007-July 21, 2014

+ Includes one Test for the ICC World XI.

South Africa's AB de Villiers had the best career batting average of 57.30 in Test cricket. He score 2,120 runs in 25 Tests.   -  Getty Images


Highest Test career batting average as a wicketkeeper (minimum 30 innings)

57.30A. B. de VilliersSouth Africa25402,120December 26, 2004-December 27, 2017
53.70Andy FlowerZimbabwe551004,404October 18, 1992-January 15, 2002
47.60Adam GilchristAustralia961375,570November 5, 1999-January 28, 2008
43.40Leslie AmesEngland44672,387August 17, 1929-March 14, 1939
41.08Dinesh ChandimalSri Lanka24431,602December 26, 2011-January 14, 2017


First to landmark Test runs as a wicketkeeper

RunsKeeper-batsmanCountryAchieved onOpponentVenue
1,000Bert OldfieldAustraliaDecember 13, 1932EnglandMelbourne
2,000Leslie AmesEnglandJune 24, 1938AustraliaLord’s
3,000Alan KnottEnglandJanuary 30, 1975AustraliaAdelaide
4,000Alan KnottEnglandJuly 29, 1977AustraliaNottingham
5,000Adam GilchristAustraliaApril 10, 2006BangladeshFatullah


Fewest innings to landmark Test runs as a wicketkeeper

RunsInningsTestsKeeper-batsmanCountryAchieved on
1,0002114Quinton de KockSouth AfricaJanuary 3, 2017
2,0003824A. B. de VilliersSouth AfricaDecember 27, 2015
3,0006346Adam GilchristAustraliaOctober 10, 2003
4,0009049Andy FlowerZimbabweSeptember 10, 2001
5,00012284Adam GilchristAustraliaApril 10, 2006


Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka) and Jonny Bairstow (England) took the fewest Tests (13) to reach 1,000 runs as keeper.

Andy Flower (Zimbabwe) took the fewest Tests (42) to reach 3,000 runs as keeper.

Most Test centuries as wicketkeeper

17Adam GilchristAustralia9613747.60November 5, 1999-January 28, 2008
12Andy FlowerZimbabwe5510053.70October 18, 1992-January 15, 2002
8Leslie AmesEngland446743.40August 17, 1929-March 14, 1939

Note: Wicketkeepers with seven centuries are Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Matt Prior (England), A. B. de Villiers (South Africa) and Bradley-John Watling (New Zealand).

Most Test runs in a calendar year as wicketkeeper

1,470Jonny BairstowEngland2016172958.8038
1,045Andy FlowerZimbabwe200091680.3835
933A. B. de VilliersSouth Africa201391377.7545
899Andy FlowerZimbabwe200191489.9034
891Kumar SangakkaraSri Lanka2001121755.6834


Most Test runs in a series as wicketkeeper

606Dennis LindsaySouth Africa+Australia1966-675786.5732
540Andy FlowerZimbabweIndia+2000-0124270.0022
525Budhi KunderanIndia+England1963-6451052.5021
493Brad HaddinAustralia+England2013-145861.6215
484Gerry AlexanderWest IndiesAustralia+1960-6151060.5015

+ Home team.

To be continued...