The job description for the post of a wicketkeeper has added a few more columns over the years. Now, your resume doesn’t just have to be a lengthy narrative of your skills behind the stumps. Keepers of the present age need to bat, and bat well. Crafty glove-posers are a feature of the bygone era.
The condensed formats demand all the more from these unique species, for they need to balance the team composition and reprise the role of a batsman too. In the last two decades, a number of flashy wicketkeepers have emerged, doubling as attacking batsmen who can enter any side based on their batting, and batting alone.
Here are the top five scores by wicketkeepers in ODIs
#5 Kumar Sangakkara, 169 vs South Africa, 2013
Blessed with a graceful batting technique and a knack to sniff out gaps in the field, Kumar Sangakkara handled the double, sometimes triple role of carrying Sri Lanka’s batting and wicketkeeping duties, apart from captaining them. He is one of the handful of cricketers who have managed to score more than 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs.
Known for his calm and measured batting, Sangakkara donned an aggressive demeanour against South Africa in an ODI in 2013, carting a career-best 169 to rocket Sri Lanka to a score of 320, and eventually win them the match.
He started steadily, playing the ball on merit, before singling out the left arm spinners Aaron Phangiso and Robin Peterson, using his feet to target the midwicket boundary. As the innings progressed, he looked in his zone against the pacers, shuffling across to make room and carve them on both the off and leg side.
This is also the third highest score by a Sri Lankan in ODIs, behind Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189 and Upul Tharanga’s unbeaten 174.