Highest scores by Indian wicket-keepers in all formats
No.3 and No.4 are the biggest surprises in the list
Wriddhiman Saha has been recently coming good with the bat for India in the Test matches. The Bengal lad was in sparkling form in the series against New Zealand where he scored two back-to-back fifties at the Eden Gardens in the second Test.
India won the series 3-0 and Saha was highly praised for his efforts with both the bat and the gloves. Prior to the series, in the West Indies, the 31-year-old smashed his way to his first Test century in Gros Islet where India won by 237 runs. But previously wicket-keepers were considered to be specialists who would only concentrate on their glovework, with time, however, the mentality has changed. Captains now want their keepers to be brilliant batters too, who can contribute whenever required.
India have had problems finding suitable keepers who could bat, and that is why is the early 2000s Sourav Ganguly had opted to have Rahul Dravid as a makeshift wicket-keeper but then the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrived, who with his batting talents coupled with his keeping skills cemented a place in the side.
After Dhoni’s retirement from Tests, Saha was drafted into the team. Here in the list, we look at the highest scores by Indian wicket-keepers across all formats but surprisingly Saha’s swashbuckling 106 does not feature in the top five.
#5 Farokh Engineer 121 versus England, 1972-73
He was one of the most flamboyant wicket-keeper batsmen India ever had. He had the audacity to attack the best bowlers of the rival team hitting their fiercest bouncers to the ropes. He was a quite brilliant with his glovework too.
In 1972-73 India were playing England and in the fifth and final Test at the Brabourne Stadium, he registered his best score of 121. India had lost the first Test but then leveled it up in Kolkata where Farokh scored a gutsy 75. In the third Test India were bolstered by MAK Pataudi’s presence and they beat England convincingly, the fourth again was a draw.
India needed just a stalemate in the fifth to ensure they win the series 2-1. Farokh came up with the timely 121 in 280 minutes as India got to a mammoth 448 in their first innings. England, however, surpassed it to notch a lead of 32 runs. But then Gavaskar and Farokh took India’s score to 102 for no loss to ensure a draw.