In the sport of cricket, the wicket-keeper is the one who dons the keeping gloves and stands behind the stumps to stop the ball missed by the batsman. Besides the aforementioned job, the wicket-keeper plays a vital role in various kinds of dismissals such as caught behind, stumpings and run outs. Earlier, the teams used to focus only on the wicket-keeping skills of a player to allow him a place in the team. But the game has evolved with time and the wicket-keeper's role has been transformed into the wicket-keeper batsman role. Many teams prefer a batsman who can keep rather than having a keeper who can bat.
The wicket-keeper batsmen have always played a vital role in the success of a team. Their role is sometimes only limited to keeping in T20s but in the longest format of the game, they need to perform with the bat too. Here’s a look at the best batting performances by a wicket-keeper of each Test playing nation.
(Note- This list considers Test matches after 2010)
#1 England - Jonny Bairstow - 167* (251) vs Sri Lanka, Lord's
Jonny Bairstow, the English wicket-keeper was in the form of his life in the season 2016-17 where he was one of the top run-getters for his side in Test matches. In the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, English captain Alaistair Cook elected to bat first after the coin tossed in his favour. Cook (85) kept on scoring from one end but got no support from his partners.
Jonny Bairstow came in to bat after the fall of the 4th wicket and stabilised the innings along with his skipper. When Cook departed, Jonny Bairstow joined hands with Moeen Ali (25) and Chris Woakes (66) to take the team’s total past 350. Woakes lost his wicket when England had put 371 on the board and Bairstow added 45 more to that while batting with the tail.
The wicket-keeper ran out of partners as he remained not out on 167. He was adjudged the Man of the Match in the drawn Test for his unbeaten knock.