Ever since the advent of the cash-rich Indian Premier League in 2008, T20 cricket in India has grown with each passing year and has served as a platform for young talent to be unearthed.
While the spotlight has often fallen on innovative batting or crafty bowling, wicketkeepers have also provided glimpses of brilliance on the field, putting in fearless dives or flashy stumpings that have only added more spice to the contests.
Here is the list of five of the best wicket-keepers in the history of the Indian Premier League going strictly by the number of dismissals affected in their IPL career.
#5 Parthiv Patel
The diminutive wicket-keeper from Gujarat has enjoyed a mixed bag of success in the Indian Premier League, having represented six different teams in a span of ten years that have fetched him 2322 runs from 119 matches at a moderate strike rate of 117.21 and a total of 71 dismissals including 57 catches and 14 stumpings.
Parthiv started his career for the Chennai Super Kings and with Dhoni donning the gloves, he did not feature in many matches and shifted to the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011 and led them in that season before he shifted to the Deccan Chargers in the next season following the termination of the Kochi Tuskers but could only muster 194 runs from 14 games.
A season with Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 was followed by yet another short stint with RCB where he kept wickets and opened the batting but yet again could not find the form which saw him shift to the Mumbai Indians for the next three seasons.
#4 Naman Ojha
For a wicket-keeper who has often played under the shadows of more recognized keepers such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik amongst others, Naman Ojha has been a constant presence in the IPL and has featured in every season so far.
From a total of 113 matches across ten seasons, Naman Ojha has 74 dismissals to his name - 64 catches and 10 stumpings. After playing for Rajasthan in 2009 and the year after, Naman Ojha was picked by the Delhi Daredevils for the next three seasons but unfortunately could not find a regular place on the side.
In 2014, he shifted base to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and enjoyed a maiden stint with Sunrisers, scoring 232 runs from 11 games at an excellent strike rate of 144.09. In the next three seasons, his performance with the bat went down but his wicket-keeping skills came to the fore, ranking him highly as one of the best IPL keepers of all time.
#3 Robin Uthappa
A talented stroke-maker at the top of the batting order, Robin Uthappa's flair and understanding of the game in addition to his wicket-keeping skills made him a huge asset to any IPL team he represented in the past seasons.
Uthappa started his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2008 before he shifted franchises to his home side, the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009. After moderate outings with RCB, Uthappa was roped in by the Pune Warriors in 2011 for whom he played three seasons and made 1103 runs in 46 matches.
In 2014, Uthappa moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders and gave rise to a formidable partnership with skipper Gautam Gambhir at the top of the order. In the same season, Uthappa finished with the Orange Cap with 660 runs from 15 games and continued to play fo them in the next two seasons.
Apart from his prowess with the bat, Uthappa also has 90 dismissals from behind the stumps including 58 catches and 32 stumpings - most of them while representing the Knight Riders.
#2 Dinesh Karthik
Karthik is one of IPL's most successful wicket-keepers with a total of 106 dismissals from 152 matches that includes 80 catches and 26 stumpings.
The stylish middle-order batsman from Tamil Nadu has been an integral part of the various IPL franchises he has represented over time. In 2008, Karthik was snapped up by the Delhi Daredevils but did not have a great season. However, he sprang back to form the next season in South Africa, amassing 288 runs from 15 matches at an average of 36.00.
In 2011, Karthik featured for the Kings XI Punjab but the next season, he moved to the Mumbai Indians and featured regularly in the side although he did not enjoy a great run.
Following two seasons with the Mumbai Indians where he scored 748 from 36 matches at a reasonable strike rate, Karthik re-joined Delhi for one season in 2014 before RCB broke the bank to procure his services in 2015 only to see him woefully out of form all through the season. Karthik then was procured by the Gujarat Lions for the next two years, adding some experience and firepower to their line-up.
From a total of 152 matches, Karthik has 2903 runs to his name at an average of 24.81 and a strike rate of 125.94, painting a pretty picture of his excellent batting ability.
#1 Mahendra Singh Dhoni
One of IPL's most successful skippers, MS Dhoni needs no introduction. The flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman was at the helm of the Chennai Super Kings for seven years before the team was banned for the 2016 and 2017 season on account of fixing.
Dhoni led the Chennai Super Kings to title victories in 2010 and 2011 apart from CLT20 wins in 2010 and 2014 that has underlined his influence as the leader of the Chennai setup. In addition to this, Dhoni's batting and finishing skills have often come to the fore and his average of 37.88 from 159 matches is only mind-boggling, given that he generally comes down the order during the slog overs.
While the Super Kings have emerged as a roulette spinning around MS Dhoni, his calm influence behind the stumps and lightning reflexes behind the stumps is unquestionable.
With an unmatched understanding of the game and an attitude of guiding youngsters, the ex-Indian skipper has formed a mentor-protege duo with his bowlers and has 106 dismissals from 158 matches - 76 catches and 30 stumpings and has emerged as one of the world's best keepers and more so, possibly the best wicket-keeper in the Indian Premier League.