The role of a wicket-keeper is of utmost importance in the game of cricket as he guards perhaps the most critical area on the field of play – behind the stumps. Over the years, though, the demand for wicket-keepers with greater batting skills has grown and it has reached a stage where most teams want impactful batsmen who can also keep wickets.
This trend was popularised by the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Brendon McCullum and MS Dhoni and is being carried forward by players such as Jos Buttler, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Quinton de Kock. The logic that is generally provided for picking up keepers with superior batting skills is that it lends more balance to the team.
However, there are still quite a few wicket-keepers in the current cricketing scene who are more ‘old school’ in comparison. This does not imply that these players are not good with the bat but it is just that their batting does not steal the limelight away from their highly effective work behind the stumps.
Here are 5 present-day wicket-keepers who are in the traditional mould:
#1 Peter Nevill
Unlike some of his predecessors, Australia’s Peter Nevill is more of a conventional wicket-keeper who contributes useful runs in the lower middle-order. Although Nevill’s batting record in first-class cricket is very decent with an average of close to 39, he has not exactly set the international stage on fire and averages just under 21.
Moreover, he is a quiet accumulator with the bat, as his Test strike rate of 41.59 would suggest, compared to flashy stroke players like Adam Gilchrist and to an extent, Brad Haddin. The 30-year old, though, has been impressive with his job behind the stumps and is currently his country’s No. 1 keeper.
Peter Nevill has already picked up some outstanding catches in his 15-Test long career, none better than his flying left-handed take to hold on to an inside edge off Kane Williamson’s bat in a Test at Wellington in New Zealand earlier this year.