For over a century, wicket keeping was a specialist job in cricket for the sheer commitment it requires. Keeping behind the stumps needs a combination of stamina, fitness, reflexes, skill set and focus. In Test cricket, wicket-keepers have to bend their back for a day or more in an innings and doing the same in ODIs for 50 overs straight is a strenuous task as well. The Indian wicket-keeper scene has been quite blessed to have some of the best glovesmen in the business.
India have had some great wicket-keepers in history like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Syed Kirmani, Kiran More and Farokh Engineer, who have created their legacies on the back of sublime glovework. Here we will take a look at the top 10 wicket-keepers India have had in international cricket.
Top 10 Indian wicket-keeper list
|2018 – Present
When we talk about India’s best wicket keeper of all time, there’s one name that shines brighter than any other and that is MS Dhoni. One of the biggest icons in Indian cricket and international cricket, the wonderboy from Ranchi has several cricket records to his name.
Dhoni played 535 matches as a keeper, standing behind the stumps in 605 innings. He has by far the most matches to his credit as an Indian wicketkeeper in a career span of 16 years. It’s only fair he tops this list with the most dismissals across three formats.
Dhoni has 823 dismissals to his name in his international career. The number is mind boggling when you consider the next best has more than 550 fewer dismissals. The man who led India to multiple ICC trophies has taken 631 catches in his career. Known for his lightning fast hands, Dhoni has done 192 stumpings.
Nayan Mongia was India’s premier wicketkeeper in the 90s. He takes the second place on the list of India’s best wicketkeepers in international cricket. Mongia, with his lightning quick, chirpy and smart wicketkeeping along with handy batting, played an important role for India from 1994 to 2001. He played 184 matches and kept wickets in 216 innings for India across two formats, in which he had 261 dismissals to his credit. Out of those, 209 dismissals came via catches and 52 were stumpings.
Syed Kirmani is one of the finest wicket keepers India has ever had. His glovework was extremely efficient and reliable to both spin and pace. Kirmani had a 12-yr stint in international cricket for India, making 137 appearances as a wicket-keeper. He kept wickets in 199 innings, in which he had 234 dismissals. Kirmani had 187 catches and 47 stumpings to his name. He played an important role in India’s historic World Cup win in 1983 with the gloves as well as with the bat.
Kiran More was the premier wicketkeeper for India from 1984 to 1993. He was gutsy, always up for a challenge, chirpy and loved to get under the skin of the opponents. His incident with Javed Miandad during the 1992 World Cup still lives fresh in memory.
More was Syed Kirmani’s understudy for a couple of tours. He had his first opportunity on the tour of England in 1986, where he grabbed 16 catches. Kiran More played 143 matches and kept in 183 innings, in which he had 220 dismissals. More had 173 catches and 47 stumpings to his credit.
Rishabh Pant was born and raised in the era of batting wicket keepers. With Adam Gilchrist as his idol, Rishabh Pant was more of a batter than a wicket-keeper but his glovework has been constantly improving. Rishabh Pant is the premier wicketkeeper for India in ODIs since MS Dhoni retired and has taken over from Wriddhiman Saha in Tests as well.
Pant has kept in 78 matches and 106 innings for team India and already has made it to the fifth place on this list. The Delhi player has 152 dismissals to his credit, of which, 133 were catches and 19 came via stumpings. Among Indian wicket-keepers with more than 20 dismissals, Pant has the best dismissals per innings ratio of 2.0.
Rishabh Pant’s batting exploits have been monumental and he has already cemented his place as an elite wicketkeeper batter.
Wriddhiman Saha is known as one of the craftiest wicketkeepers in Indian cricket. For the majority of his early years, his career coincided with Dhoni’s and he didn’t receive many opportunities. Dhoni’s retirement from Test cricket in 2014 opened doors for Saha and he had a pretty decent career afterwards.
Saha kept wickets for India in 48 matches and 84 innings, in which he had 122 dismissals. Saha has grabbed 109 catches and 13 stumpings in his international career. Saha was phased out of the Indian team in recent times after Rishabh Pant became fully ready to take the charge.
Parthiv Patel became the youngest wicket-keeper in Test cricket when he made his debut for India in 2002. His glovework was handy at best but it was his ability with the bat that earned him an extended run. Parthiv Patel played 53 matches for India, keeping wickets in 73 innings and registering 112 dismissals across two formats. Patel was recalled back into the side in 2018 but it didn’t last long.
Dinesh Karthik was another unlucky cricketer of his time as his career clashed directly with that of Dhoni. The Tamilnadu wicketkeeper received only a handful of chances at the international level, playing 54 matches for India as a keeper. Karthik grabbed 107 dismissals in 70 innings he kept wickets in, with 91 catches and 16 stumpings. Karthik became the casualty of India’s semi-final loss in the 2019 World Cup.
Farokh Engineer was one of the best craftsmen behind the stumps not just in Indian cricket but international cricket as well. He was strongly built, yet had extremely sharp reflexes. He did the difficult task of keeping wickets to the legendary spin quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and Venkataraghavan with ease. Engineer kept wickets in 51 matches from 1961 to 1975, registering 86 dismissals, with 69 catches and 17 stumpings.
Rahul Dravid wasn’t a specialist wicketkeeper but the team needed someone to do the job without hampering the balance of the side and the great man was up for it. He kept wickets for team India in ODIs from 1999 to 2004, grabbing 84 dismissals in 72 innings with 71 catches and 13 stumpings. The emergence of the likes of Karthik, Patel and Dhoni relieved him of his wicketkeeping duties.
Who is the best Indian wicket-keeper in Test cricket
MS Dhoni is the best wicketkeeper India has had in Test cricket. He has 294 dismissals in 90 Test matches – 96 more dismissals than the next best. Out of those dismissals, 256 were catches. Known as arguably the best keeper against spinners, MS Dhoni has 38 stumpings to his name in the longer format.
Who was the best Indian wicket-keeper in ODIs?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has the most dismissals for India as a wicket-keeper in One-Day internationals as well. He has 438 dismissals in ODI cricket from 347 matches played. Of those 438, Dhoni has 318 catches while 120 dismissals were via stumpings. The most no. of dismissals by Dhoni in an ODI inning were six.
Best Indian wicket-keeper in T20I cricket
It is no surprise MS Dhoni holds the record for India as a wicketkeeper in T20 internationals as well, having played the most – 98 matches. He has 91 dismissals to his credit in this format, of those, 57 were catches while 34 were stumpings.
Who is the Indian wicket-keeper in 2021?
Rishabh Pant is the premier Indian wicket keeper batsman in 2021-22. KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, KS Bharath are the backups.
Who is the Indian wicket-keeper ODI?
Rishabh Pant is the wicket-keeper for India in the ODI cricket team.
Who is the Indian wicket-keeper now?
Rishabh Pant is the current wicketkeeper of the Indian team.
Who is the Indian wicket-keeper in Test cricket now?
Rishabh Pant is India’s first-choice wicket-keeper in Test cricket at present.