All about Test cricket wicketkeepers – Part III

In the third part of this statistical analysis on Test wicketkeepers, we take a look at their all-round performances and also at times their bowling performances.

Dhoni has the most runs as a captain-wicketkeeper in Test cricket.   -  Getty Images

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.

In the third part of this statistical analysis on Test wicketkeepers, we take a look at their all-round performances and also at times their bowling performances. Some of them also have the double distinction of appearing in Test matches as both as captain and wicketkeeper. A list of such successful players is given below.

Top all-round performances by wicketkeepers – A century and seven or more dismissals in the match

RunsDismissalsWicketkeeperCountryOpponentVenueMonth, YearResult
69 & 1826ct & 2ctDennis LindsaySouth AfricaAustraliaJohannesburgDecember 1966Won
111 & 113ct+1st & 5ctAmal SilvaSri LankaIndiaColombo (PSS)September 1985Won
1182ct & 5ctMatt PriorEnglandAustraliaSydneyJanuary 2011Won
31 & 103*6ct & 5ctA. B. de VilliersSouth AfricaPakistanJohannesburgFebruary 2013Won
13 & 1034ct & 3ctA. B. de VilliersSouth AfricaIndiaJohannesburgDecember 2013Drawn
129* & 9*4ct & 4ctQuinton de KockSouth AfricaEnglandCenturionJanuary 2016Won
1405ct & 4ctJonny BairstowEnglandSri LankaLeedsMay 2016Won
1043ct & 4ctQuinton de KockSouth AfricaAustraliaHobartNovember 2016Won
18 & 1293ct & 4ctQuinton de KockSouth AfricaPakistanJohannesburgJanuary 2019Won

Note: Sri Lanka gained its first-ever Test victory in the Colombo Test in 1985.

Leading Test wicketkeeping all-rounders – 200-plus dismissals and 4,000-plus runs

Mark BoucherSouth Africa1475555,51530.3041997-2002
Adam GilchristAustralia964165,57047.61171999-2008
Ian HealyAustralia1193954,35627.4041988-1999
M. S. DhoniIndia902944,87638.0962005-14
Alan KnottEngland952694,38932.7551967-1981
Matt PriorEngland792564,09940.1972007-14
Alec StewartEngland822414,54034.9241991-2003


Quickest to reach 1,000 runs + 50 dismissals while keeping wickets

13Jonny BairstowEngland1,06864 (63ct+1st)PakistanBirminghamAugust 6, 2016Won
14A. B. de VilliersSouth Africa1,01953 (51ct+2st)PakistanCenturionFebruary 23, 2013Won
14Quinton de KockSouth Africa1,01957 (55ct+2st)Sri LankaCape TownJanuary 3, 2017Won
15Dennis LindsaySouth Africa1,00056 (54ct+2st)AustraliaPort ElizabethMarch 9, 1970Won


Quickest to reach 2,000 runs + 100 dismissals while keeping wickets

25Jonny BairstowEngland2,002102 (97ct+5st)South AfricaManchesterAugust 7, 2017Won
25A. B. de VilliersSouth Africa2,120102 (97ct+5st)ZimbabwePort ElizabethDecember 27, 2017Won
30Adam GilchristAustralia2,029126 (116ct+10st)South AfricaCape TownMarch 9, 2002Won
31Kumar SangakkaraSri Lanka2,037106 (92+14st)PakistanKarachiOctober 31, 2004Lost


Quickest to reach 3,000 runs + 200 dismissals while keeping wickets

47Adam GilchristAustralia3,073201 (184+17st)ZimbabweSydneyOctober 20, 2003Won
54Brad HaddinAustralia3,007220 (215+5st)EnglandSeptember 1985January 5, 2014Won
56Bradley-John WatlingNew Zealand3,092217 (209ct+8st)EnglandMt MaunganuiNovember 23, 2019Won
62M. S. DhoniIndia3,242200 (174ct+26st)West IndiesDelhiNovember 6, 2011Won


Quickest to reach 4,000 runs + 300 dismissals while keeping wickets

72Adam GilchristAustralia4,572303 (275ct+28st)EnglandNottinghamAugust 25, 2005Lost
105Ian HealyAustralia4,002360 (335ct+25st)PakistanPeshawarOctober 19, 1998Drawn
107Mark BoucherSouth Africa4,005406 (387ct+19st)West IndiesPort ElizabethDecember 29, 2007Lost

Note: Only these three cricketers have achieved this.

Bowling performances in an innings by designated Test wicketkeepers – in chronological order

Alfred Lyttelton+England125194FirstAustraliaThe OvalAugust 12, 1884Drawn
Dick Lilley#England51231FirstAustraliaManchesterJuly 16, 1896Lost
Bill StorerEngland164551FirstAustraliaMelbourneJanuary 1, 1898Lost
Bill StorerEngland40241FirstAustraliaMelbourneJanuary 29, 1898Lost
Clifford McWatttWest Indies42161FourthEnglandPort of SpainMarch 23, 1954Drawn
Jim Parks JrEngland60431ThirdIndiaKanpurFebruary 20, 1964Drawn
Taslim ArifPakistan50281ThirdAustraliaLahoreMarch 23, 1980Drawn
Syed KirmaniIndia2091FourthPakistanNagpurOctober 10, 1983Drawn
Tatemda TaibuZimbabwe81271SecondSri LankaHarareMay 7, 2004Lost
Mark BoucherSouth Africa1.2061SecondWest IndiesSt John’sMay 3, 2005Drawn


+ Four-ball overs

# Five-ball overs

– In Test cricket history, 23 designated keepers have bowled, of which nine have claimed wickets, with Englishman Bill Storer doing it twice.

– Lyttelton (four wickets) and Storer (two wickets) are the only keepers to claim more than one wicket during their Test careers.

– Storer sent down the most balls (168) as a designated keeper in his career and also conceded the most runs (108).

– M. S. Dhoni is the keeper to bowl on the most occasions – in seven innings spanning six Test matches.

– Lilley and Storer (twice) claimed their wickets on the opening day of the Test.

– Boucher’s 1/6 has the second-best figures after Lyttelton’s 4/19.

Most runs by captain-wicketkeepers in Test cricket

Captain-keeperCountryPeriodMatchesInningsNot-outsRunsHighest scoreAverageHundredsFifties
M. S. DhoniIndia2008-146096113,45422440.63524
Mushfiqur RahimBangladesh2011-17285252,01420042.85410
Andy FlowerZimbabwe1993-2000163051,23215649.2837
Alec StewartEngland1993-20011224378116437.1913
Tim PaineAustralia2018-20193037057926.1104
Tatemda TaibuZimbabwe2004-051020267415337.4415
Sarfaraz AhmedPakistan2017-19132315689425.8105


Most dismissals by captain-keepers in Test cricket

M. S. DhoniIndia2008-146021118724
Tim PaineAustralia2018-201984804
Gerry AlexanderWest Indies1958-601870655
Mushfiqur RahimBangladesh2011-172865605
Andy FlowerZimbabwe1993-20001656560
Sarfaraz AhmedPakistan2017-191355514


To be continued...

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