IPL 2017: The men behind the stumps
Wicketkeeping is the only truly specialist position left in cricket. Bowlers can bat and batsmen can bowl but every team usually has one specific person who always takes position behind the stumps. Quick hands and agility can result in a lightning-quick stumping. Reflex catches can change a game.
However, a good wicketkeeper isn’t just an asset when the side is bowling. Those who excel in the role can change a match with their batting as well. It is for this reason that the rankings in this article take into account a player’s prowess both behind and in front of the wicket.
Only the players who have kept wickets in IPL 2017 have been considered. Their career statistics across all editions of the IPL have been taken into account. As most wicketkeepers are experienced hands, it would not be fair to compare the relative newcomers on the same scale.
Therefore, as Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant and Vishnu Vinod have kept wickets for a much lower number of matches compared to the others, they have not been considered.
#6 Naman Ojha, Sunrisers Hyderabad
With 130 first-class matches under his belt, Ojha has been a handy soldier for his Madhya Pradesh team in the Indian domestic circuit since 2000. He has almost 9,000 first-class runs and more than 400 dismissals to his name.
He has been a regular in the IPL for many seasons now. Followers of the tournament will remember his unbeaten 94 against Chennai Super Kings in 2010 when he led Rajasthan Royals’ chase of a behemoth 247 run target.
He continues to remain handy with the bat. In a recent match against the Kings XI Punjab, he supported his captain, David Warner, in a decisive sixty-run partnership to help his team win the game. In his IPL career, he has played a hand in 70 dismissals and scored more than 1500 runs at an average of 21.22. On his day, he can be a match-winner.