Wicketkeeping is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs to perform in cricket. It not only drains the wicketkeeper physically, thanks to all the movement one does behind the stumps, including dives; the concentration required to keep, drains one mentally as well.
In Indian cricket, the first ever wicketkeeper who played Test cricket for India was Janardan Navale, who played in India’s debut Test in 1932 against England at Lord’s. Then came Naren Tamhane, who played 21 Tests from 1955-1961 and Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests from 1961-1975 and was first recognized as the wicketkeeper who could bat as well.
Then came the first star Indian wicketkeeper in Syed Kirmani, who was not only excellent behind the stumps, but brilliant in front of them as well. He played 88 Tests for India from 1976-1986 and was considered world-class and was put on the same platform as the great Allan Knot, Jeff Dujon, Bob Taylor, and Rod Marsh.
He was replaced by Kiran More, who helmed the keeping gloves till 1993 and then came a long period in Indian cricket, when Nayan Mongia performed the wicketkeeping duties for India, from 1993-2001.
During this era, Australia keeper Adam Gilchrist changed the wicketkeeping landscape with his audacious batting and even India searched for a similar keeper who could contribute with the bat as well and during this period, Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik emerged as potential long-term candidates, but they fizzled out, thanks to inconsistent performances.
However, finally, in 2005, India got Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was a brilliant batsman and honed his craft behind the stumps as well. He played 90 Tests from 2005-2014 and is considered to be the greatest Indian wicketkeeper ever.
After his retirement from Tests, India is back to searching another great wicketkeeper and are back to Parthiv and Karthik.
But Team COC lists five very promising and young wicket keeping options that can serve India well for the upcoming decade in all forms of the game.
Here are the top 5 best wicketkeepers for the future of Indian cricket