Top 5 ODI wicketkeepers of all time
The wicketkeeper's role has evolved considerably over the years. Today, a wicketkeeper not only needs to be good with the keeping gloves, but he also needs to be good with the batting gloves.
When you sit down to rank the top wicketkeepers the game has ever seen in ODIs, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.
You need to see the impact the player had on the game. You have to consider the kind of contributions they made, and how good they were at turning a match on its head.
What makes someone truly great? It's the ability to do a good job again and again for a sizable length of time. There are many players who can have an amazing season or two, but what sets the greats apart is the ability to perform at a very high level again and again, year after year.
How rare is it for a great player to have bad statistics? Very rare. A great player tends to have great statistics to back up his claim of being the best.
What's also important is how you are remembered when you've left the game for good. The impact you've had, the inspiration you have provided, the kind of role model you are for your fellow countrymen and all around the world - all of this contributes to how you are viewed after you leave.
Based on the above-defined criteria, we have ranked the top five wicketkeepers to have ever played the ODI game. It's no surprise that most of the names are modern day greats and from recent generations; the role has gotten more evolved, and modern wicketkeepers have been a more rounded breed than their predecessors.
5. Mark Boucher
Runs Scored: 4686
An integral part of the South African team for a span of 14 years, Mark Boucher finds himself on this list mainly because of his longevity.
He was a skillful wicketkeeper, and was also a more than potent batsman; he held the record of scoring the fastest 50 in ODIs by a South African at one point. And of course, who can forget the mammoth run chase of 434 by South Africa where Boucher played a pivotal role and saw them across the line.
In a team of accomplished batsmen against pacers, Boucher had the capability of playing well against spin too, which was pretty rare in that team. Many a time he was promoted up the order in the sub-continent, where he was able to contribute heavily.
Boucher was a game-changer in the world of wicketkeepers as he was a match-winner with the bat as well. The reason he doesn't feature any higher is that his average of 28.57 is a tad lower compared to the other keepers on the list.