Top 10 Best Indian Wicket-keepers
Wicket-keeping is one of the most crucial roles in world cricket. It undoubtedly is an extremely essential position that can affect the result of any game. India is blessed with many wicket-keepers who have shone on various occasions far beyond being only a stopper. In fact, India have found their most successful captain in a wicket-keeper – MS Dhoni – a name that has brought a lot of trophies to Indian cricket.
With expectations of a billion fans, Indian wicket-keepers have not only stopped behind the stumps but also contributed with the bat in recent years. If you look into the past, Indian cricket has had a rich history of wicket-keepers. If you pay attention to the present, the Indian Cricket team management has plenty of match-winning options like Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan to choose from.
In this article, we will talk about the best Indian wicket-keepers based on the number of dismissals in all three formats of cricket.
List of Top 10 best Indian Wicket-keepers
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni – 823 Dismissals
- Nayan Mongia – 261 Dismissals
- Syed Kirmani – 234 Dismissals
- Kiran More – 220 Dismissals
- Wriddhiman Saha – 121 Dismissals
- Parthiv Patel – 112 Dismissals
- Dinesh Karthik – 107 Dismissals
- Rishabh Pant – 100 Dismissals
- Farokh Engineer – 86 Dismissals
- Rahul Dravid – 84 Dismissals
The List starts with the most impactful entry and ends with the most surprising one. Let’s have a brief look at these cricketers’ stats in all formats for India.
- 1. MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI (535 Matches: 823 Dismissals)
- 2. NAYAN MONGIA (184 Matches: 261 Dismissals)
- 3. SYED KIRMANI (137 Matches: 234 Dismissals)
- 4. KIRAN MORE (143 Matches: 220 Dismissals)
- 5. WRIDDHIMAN SAHA (47 Matches: 121 Dismissals)
- 6. PARTHIV PATEL (53 Matches: 112 Dismissals)
- 7. DINESH KARTHIK (54 Matches: 107 Dismissals)
- 8. RISHABH PANT (52 Matches: 100 Dismissals)
- 9. FAROKH ENGINEER (51 Matches: 86 Dismissals)
- 10. RAHUL DRAVID (73 Matches: 84 Dismissals)
1. MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI (535 Matches: 823 Dismissals)
MS Dhoni is regarded as the greatest wicket-keeper that has ever played for India thanks to his astonishing skills behind the stumps, dynamic batting, explosive finishing and analytical captaincy. Dhoni made his debut for India in 2004 against Bangladesh. Though Dhoni started with 0 dismissals in his first international game, he piled up 823 dismissals in 535 international matches for India. These dismissals include 631 catches and 192 stumpings with dismissals per innings ratio of 1.360.
Famous for the lightning stumpings, Dhoni gave a lot of cherishable moments to India, including the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh. With 2 runs required in the last ball, Dhoni removed his one glove anticipating the runout in the last ball and beat Bangladeshi player Mustafizur Rahman to it. Dhoni holds the record for the greatest number of dismissals in an innings in all formats of cricket for India. He was also a part of the ICC Test and ODI team of the Decade 2020 as a wicket-keeper captain.
As a captain, Dhoni brought ICC World T20, ICC ODI World Cup, Champions Trophy, and 2 Asia Cups to home.
Tests: 90 matches, 294 dismissals (256 catches, 38 stumpings).
ODI: 347 matches, 438 dismissals (318 catches, 120 stumpings).
T20Is: 98 matches, 91 dismissals (57 catches, 34 stumpings).
2. NAYAN MONGIA (184 Matches: 261 Dismissals)
Nayan Mongia was handed his debut in 1994 against Sri Lanka in Tests where he dismissed 5 players behind the stumps to win by an innings and 119 runs. In a period of 8 years, Mongia dismissed 261 players behind the stumps with a dismissal per innings ratio of 1.208. Out of these, 209 were caught behind and 52 were stumpings.
Twice in his career, Mongia took 5 catches in ODIs – a record which was later broken by MS Dhoni. Taking the responsibilities from Kiran More, Mongia earned praises from all over the world including legendary Alan Knott. His career stopped due to fixing allegations after 10 years behind the stumps.
Tests: 44 matches, 107 dismissals (99 catches, 8 stumpings).
ODI: 140 matches, 154 dismissals (110 catches, 44 stumpings).
3. SYED KIRMANI (137 Matches: 234 Dismissals)
Two decades before Dhoni, Kirmani was the best wicket-keeper for India with all the records to his name. In 137 matches, Kirmani dismissed 234 players behind the sumps with dismissals per innings ratio of 1.175. Kirmani made his debut in 1976 in a Test against New Zealand. Playing his first series, he equalled the record of six dismissals in an innings (5 catches and 1 stumping).
Kirmani was awarded the best wicket-keeper trophy in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. In the final, he took a fabulous catch of Faoud Bacchus to help India defend a target of 183 runs. In 1986, Kirmani retired from international cricket due to a leg injury.
Tests: 88 matches, 198 dismissals (160 catches, 38 stumpings).
ODI: 49 matches, 36 dismissals (27 catches, 9 stumpings).
4. KIRAN MORE (143 Matches: 220 Dismissals)
Kiran More took the baton of wicket-keeping from Syed Kirmani in 1986. In 143 matches played, he dismissed 220 players behind the wicket with a dismissal per innings ratio of 1.202.
Besides these skills, More was famous for putting up resistance with the bat in the lower order and for his constant chatter that disturbed the focus of many. Talking about his records, More stumped 5 batsmen in an innings and 1 in the second to set a new record against West Indies in Madras.
Tests: 49 matches, 130 dismissals (110 catches, 20 stumpings).
ODI: 94 matches, 36 dismissals (63 catches, 27 stumpings).
5. WRIDDHIMAN SAHA (47 Matches: 121 Dismissals)
After MS Dhoni had retired from the longest form of cricket, Wriddhiman Saha finally came out of the shadows and grabbed his opportunity to become the first-choice wicket-keeper for India in Tests. In 47 matches, Saha dismissed 121 batsmen behind the stumps with a D/I of 1.512. Saha’s dismissals per innings ratio are the second-best amongst the 10 entrants on the list.
Saha’s athletic skills and presence in the game have helped him become a better wicket-keeper among many recent wicket-keepers. Though Saha has played 9 ODIs only, he has the best D/I ratio when compared to other keepers. Saha recently lost his place to Rishabh Pant due to the latter’s explosive batting skills.
Tests: 38 matches, 103 dismissals (92 catches, 11 stumpings).
ODI: 9 matches, 18 dismissals (17 catches, 1 stumping).
6. PARTHIV PATEL (53 Matches: 112 Dismissals)
Parthiv Patel became the youngest wicket-keeper for India in 2002 at the age of 17 playing against England. In 63 matches, the Gujrat-born player made 111 dismissal, out of which 72 came from Tests and 39 from ODIs. His dismissals per innings ratio of 1.534 is the best among the top 10 wicket-keepers.
Patel lost his place in the national team due to the emergence of MS Dhoni.
Tests: 25 matches, 72 dismissals (62 catches, 10 stumpings).
ODI: 38 matches, 39 dismissals (30 catches, 9 stumpings).
T20Is: 2 matches, 1 dismissal (1 catch, 0 stumpings).
7. DINESH KARTHIK (54 Matches: 107 Dismissals)
Dinesh Karthik is the most textbook keeper among the current set of wicket-keepers with fingers staying low towards the ground. In 54 matches as a wicket-keeper, Karthik dismissed 107 batsmen behind the stumps with dismissals per innings ratio of 1.528.
The Kolkata Knight Riders captain is always praised for his wicket-keeping skills. Nevertheless, his bad luck of living in the era of MS Dhoni has cost him his place in the team.
Tests: 19 matches, 57 dismissals (51 catches, 6 stumpings).
ODI: 26 matches, 41 dismissals (34 catches, 7 stumpings).
T20Is: 9 matches, 9 dismissals (6 catches, 3 stumpings).
8. RISHABH PANT (52 Matches: 100 Dismissals)
Rishabh Pant is India’s most explosive batsman and current star in world cricket. Pant made his debut against England in T20Is after a series of good performances in the IPL. Pant made 100 dismissals in 52 games for India. He holds the record of the most dismissals in a match with his 11.
The Delhi Capitals captain, Pant was criticised for his lack of understanding of the running games and his poor keeping in earlier stages. But his recent performances during India’s victorious campaign against Australia have changed this perception.
Tests: 20 matches, 82 dismissals (75 catches, 7 stumpings).
ODI: 11 matches, 6 dismissals (5 catches, 1 stumping).
T20Is: 21 matches, 12 dismissals (7 catches, 5 stumpings).
9. FAROKH ENGINEER (51 Matches: 86 Dismissals)
Farokh Engineer was a legendary wicket-keeper of India. In 51 games, Engineer dismissed 86 batsmen behind the wickets including 69 catches and 17 stumpings. Farokh’s dismissals per innings ratio is the lowest among all on this list.
Farokh was most comfortable keeping against India’s spin quartet and in fact, his elegant keeping was always praised by others. Though Engineer played for 15 years, he could only take part in 51 international matches.
Tests: 46 matches, 82 dismissals (66 catches, 16 stumpings).
ODI: 5 matches, 4 dismissals (3 catches, 1 stumping).
10. RAHUL DRAVID (73 Matches: 84 Dismissals)
The most surprising entry among them all! Known for his catches at 1st slip, Dravid wore the gloves for the first time in 1999. Dravid was the makeshift wicket-keeper in order to accommodate an extra bowler in the team. In 73 matches, Dravid dismissed 84 batsmen with 71 catches and 13 stumpings. Dravid was wicket-keeping for India for over 4 years. He is fourth on the list of the maximum ODI dismissals.
Fun fact: Dravid has more dismissals as a fielder than a wicket-keeper.
ODI: 73 matches, 84 dismissals (71 catches, 13 stumping).
Dhoni stands tall above all. Dravid shows his utility behind the wicket – his legendary batting aside. Nayan Mongia probably didn’t get his due as much as he should have. What a fine wicket-keeper he was. Kirmani and More were pure wicket-keepers and two of India’s finest. Farokh Engineer too was one of the top players behind the wicket. Let’s see what Pant brings to the table in the long run for India.
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