September 23, 2010

The second-most important man in the side

Apart from squatting, diving, catching and throwing all day, a wicketkeeper keeps the team together with his observations and chatter. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy
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It isn't odd that a world charmed by aggressive batsmen, daunting pacers and incisive spinners often looks through the men crouching behind the stumps, playing singular roles for their teams. A wicketkeeper is usually the most under-appreciated of the playing XI, constantly called upon to make vital contributions as a matter of routine. While a brilliant piece of fielding is usually praised when it occurs in the outfield, it simply is expected behind the wickets.

Still, wicketkeepers are called the backbone of the fielding unit and are in the thick of the action through a game. The stronger the backbone, the tougher the team appears on the field. The keeper leads the team in setting the tone for energy levels and body language. Since he's closest to the batsman, his job is to convey the team's mood to the opponent, and of course to intimidate him.

While it may be the most gruelling job on the cricket field, wicketkeeping is a thankless job. You could be at your best behind the stumps the whole day, but the big gloves will take half the credit, and if, god forbid, you drop a catch, you can almost see your world coming down. A keeper's span of concentration - the amount of time he needs to stay in the present - has to be longer than that for other players. It starts with the bowler's run-up (when the keeper looks for cues with regards to the shine, or for any other indication that might help him move better) and ends when the ball is dead. To this mental effort, add 540 squats, 90 trots of about 50 metres each, and about 200 short sprints every day.

Wicketkeepers are born, not made, they say. The craft chooses its disciple, not the other way around. Good wicketkeepers are blessed with great (read soft) hands, sharp reflexes and the right temperament.

Though it isn't a rule of thumb, and there have been exceptions, good wicketkeepers are also not very tall. Since a shorter person's centre of gravity is lower, it's easier for him to go down, and also to stay low on every ball, without too much effort. Taller guys, like Adam Gilchrist, have to remind themselves to stay low all the time.

In recent times wicketkeeping has ceased to be a specialised job - the need of the hour being wicketkeeper-batsmen. While this may add depth to batting line-ups, it may, unless monitored closely, irreversibly alter the art of keeping - the one that requires the keeper to tweak his responses to different kinds of bowlers and balls bowled.

Keeping to spinners
If wicketkeeping wasn't already tough, standing up to the stumps requires special skills. The ideal stance of a wicketkeeper is one that gives him a full, uninterrupted view of the bowler. His inside foot (the one closer to the stumps) is about five centimetres outside the line of off stump and about two feet, or an arm's distance, behind. How far back he is from the stumps depends on the height of the player. The smaller the keeper, the closer he'll need to be to the stumps.

While standing back to a medium-pacer, he can remain in a half-squat position, but he has no choice but to crouch fully while standing up to the wicket. The reason for staying crouched is to delay getting up for as long as possible, for it's easier to move upwards than down.

The keeper must start rising only after the ball has pitched, and must then move with the bounce. If he gets up earlier, he'll invariably find himself in an awkward position, especially on low subcontinental wickets - a problem faced even by the best in the business, like Ian Healy or Mark Boucher in India and Sri Lanka. India's Nayan Mongia was as good as it gets while standing up to the spinners. He'd not only stay low for the longest possible time but also rise with the ball beautifully, even on India's uneven pitches, even while keeping to the pace of Anil Kumble.

Since the wicketkeeper has the best seat in the box to judge the movement, pitch conditions, a batsman's strengths and weaknesses, a bowler's mistakes and so on, he must think and act like a leader

It's very important to have the gloves fully unfurled while taking the ball. Snatching at the ball is a no-no. "Receiving" is the operative word. While the palm closer to the stumps should be in line with the ball, the outer palm must cover the possibility of an outside edge. Since wicketkeepers are taught to keep their hands this way, it's unfair to be harsh when they miss inside edges, especially against spinners, because of the lack of time to rearrange the hands.

The head should be in line with the ball as you move sideways to collect the ball. Previously wicketkeepers used to be told to make an arc with the hands while moving sideways; this is now discouraged since it takes them away from the stumps. Now the advice is to move in a straight line while keeping the inside leg as close to the stumps as possible in order to get back to the wicket when needed.

For a keeper, reading the bowler is as important as it is for a batsman. It gives him clues regarding the direction of the ball, and helps him decide which way to move. For example, there is no need to move down leg side for a doosra pitched around middle stump, or to stay on the off side for a googly.

Keeping to fast bowlers
While standing back is slightly easier than standing up, when standing back the wicketkeeper is responsible for his team-mates at slip. He's the one who decides the distance from the stumps - which should ideally be the spot at which he receives a ball pitching on good length at about waist height. If the ball gets to him higher or lower, it means he's not in the correct position. And since the fielders at slip use the keeper as an indicator for bounce and pace, if he's not in the correct position, they won't be either.

The keeper's position should be such that he gets a full, uninterrupted view of the bowler, which means he has to place himself further outside the off stump for bowlers coming around the stumps. In such instances you need to be a bit lenient if a keeper misses one down the leg side, for he has to cover a lot of ground to gather the misdirected ball.

It isn't mandatory to crouch fully but most keepers prefer to do so. There are some exceptions, like Alec Stewart, who liked to stay in a half-squat. But keeping the knees flexed, with your weight on the balls of the feet, is mandatory, and you should be able to move sideways in a straight line. The idea is to take the ball beside the inside hip and cover the outside edges.

Wicketkeepers are also advised to "give" while receiving the ball, which means taking the arms back, using them as shock absorbers, while taking the ball. Though it's the right thing to do, it doesn't work in England, where the ball tends to swing a fair bit after passing the batsman. Gilchrist found that out in the 2005 Ashes and was clearly flustered in the first half of the series. In England you need to gather the ball in front of the body, using the body as a second line of defence.

A wicketkeeper must also go for every catch that's not likely to reach first slip on the full. It's better to get a hand to the ball and drop it than to not attempt to catch at all.

Keeping to the batsman
It's also the wicketkeeper's job to get under the batsman's skin, as mentioned before. I'm not promoting sledging but a bit of banter is harmless. Trust me, when someone stands that close to you - with the best view of play - and repeats things about your technique with confidence, you tend to give it a thought. And that fleeting thought might just be enough to force a false shot. I've been tempted to play a few myself, and have seen many batsmen fall for wicketkeepers' utterances. Parthiv Patel coerced Yasir Hameed into playing ahead of himself a few times on India's tour to Pakistan in 2003-04. Kumar Sangakkara doesn't fail to remind batsmen of their shortcomings either.

Since the wicketkeeper has the best seat in the box to judge the movement, pitch, a batsman's strengths and weaknesses, a bowler's mistakes and so on, he must think and act like a leader. He is a constant source of information for the captain and the bowlers.

A smart keeper brings immense value to the side: Stewart stumping Brian Lara with a smart piece of work and Brendon McCullum moving down the leg side to pre-empt Rahul Dravid's paddle sweep to dismiss him are two examples off the top of my head. There are many such instances where keepers have played a pivotal role to change the course of a game.

A good wicketkeeper also makes the team look a better fielding unit. He may run up to the stumps urging the players to throw at him, even when the batsmen are not attempting a run; he might run up to collect a bad throw on the full or collect a poor throw cleanly. He possesses the power to boost the spirits of the team and keep the players on their toes.

The keeper is the second-most important man in the side after the captain. One can almost discern the mood of the team just by looking at him.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Beyond the Blues, an account of the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • alfredmynn on September 26, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    @Xolile - You make interesting points re Bradman. My opinion leans towards option (ii): Bradman probably got into position a fraction of a second earlier, and had that tiny edge in concentration. It's hard for me to believe that no other pre-war batsman was better than Allan Lamb, especially someone like George Headley, who seems to have had tremendous natural ability. There's significant overlap between generations: Alf Gover bowled to Bradman in his playing days and coached Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, and Ian Bishop. Bradman wasn't perfect. He was supposed to have had a crude technique in his own time, unlike the classical batting of a Hutton. In his book, he mentions that his reflexes were tested by scientists. Result: he was slightly slower than the average university student. But genius can overcome deficiencies. You'd think Usain Bolt of all people is physically perfect, but no: he was born with scoliosis, which left one of his legs shorter than the other.

  • on September 25, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    I remember the dismissal of Lara, it was a bit cheeky I must say. Lara took a huge stride and missed the ball which went safesly into Stewarts glove. Instead of whipping the bails off straight away he waited for the precise moment Lara would raise his back foot to get back into the crease and as he did the waiting stewart gently removed the bails. A few balls later he tried the exact same thing with Hooper but having seen Lara go that way he did not raise his back foot

  • on September 25, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Keeping wickets to the fast and furious Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib and the spin guile of Mushi and Saqlain was no mean feat! It was an interesting article no doubt, but i am afraid if you talking about wicketkeepers then the names Moin Khan and Rashid Latif should not have been left out! Anyhow, keep writing Mr. Chopra it is indeed interesting to know a cricketers point of view to what goes on the field :)

  • ani146 on September 24, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    excellent article aakash... wicket-keeping is a thankless job... no one would remember the efforts, runs saved in a test if the keeper drops just ONE catch and the team goes on to loose the game... keepers are indeed looked upon as specialist batsmen now, which is the reason why many teams have SPECIALIST keepers only for test, while in ODI or T20, it could a part-time keeper... this makes me sad... it is not that keepers of old were not good batsmen, but somewhere down the years, priorities have changed.. now they have to be GREAT batsmen, even if they lack a bit in their keeping... i sincerely wish we again get back to GREAT keepers who are GOOD batsmen, rather than the other way around...

  • BellCurve on September 24, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    @sonofchennai - I was really just messing about with numbers to illustrate a point. I guess, after reading all the various comments, there are broadly three schools of thought: (i) Bradman is as good as the leading Test batsmen of today, but his average is boosted by poor quality bowling, flat wickets, virtually seamless balls, and a fair bit of luck; the other leading batsmen of the era such as Hammond and Headley would also have averaged between 20% and 40% less if they played in recent years; (ii) Bradman is 5% to 10% better than anyone else in history; a tipping point is reached after which batting becomes exponentially easier; Bradman is the only batsman in history to have reached that tipping point; he therefore averages 60% more than anyone else; (iii) Bradman is a true freak of nature; an all-Australian batting superhero; he is the only Grade 20 cricketer in the history of the game; no-one else have progressed beyond Grade 12.

  • brija on September 24, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Akash chopra is not only the most boring cricketer but a boring writer as well. he is neither here nor their. At the time when sehwag was dropped from the indian team he wrote an article ridiculing sehwag's batting ability.

  • sonofchennai on September 24, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    @Xolie: am really amused to see your comments..u shld be a good math though to come up with this analysis...i did see ur earlier comments wer u used Kurtosis to explain don's average now and then whihc is beyond comprehension..but how did u arrive at this 1/28 value..sounds funny but worthy...coz you can arrive at whatever average you want by changin the values for each of those attributes....

  • BellCurve on September 24, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    @BillyCC - There you are. I have to concede to the possibility that Bradman was a Grade 20 batsman, and that we have not seen anyone else above Grade 12. However, that would mean that there is some sort of a multiplier at work, and that a tipping point is reached after which batting becomes exponentially easier. For example, let's assume the key attributes that make a batsman are: hand-eye-coordination; judgement; power; concentration; stamina; agility; and, of course, technique. To calculate a batsman's true ability you award points out of 10 for each of the attributes, multiply the sum by 1/28, and raise the product by the fifth power. Bradman gets full marks for each category for an overall true ability of (10*7)/28^5=97.66. Tendulkar: (10+10+10+7+8+8+10)/28^5=57.66; Chris Martin: (1+7+1+4+7+7)/24^5=1.80. Or something along those lines...

  • Meety on September 24, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    @Ejaz_UK - you goose! Alec Stewart did get a mention. Re: Article - nice work. Prefer some comments regarding who Akash thought was best at certain aspects of w/k. For what its worth I think the best w/k-batsmen doing the rounds at the moment is Sangakarra - although he seems to be stepping out of the w/k aspect these days. I think there are alot of talented w/k playing at the moment like Rahim, Taibu & Ramdin. The rest tend to be more in the w/k-batsmen category, which compared to 20 years ago is overflowing with allrounders. In the 80s Dujon reined supreme as a w/k-batsmen, but now there is Dhoni, Haddin, & Prior post Gilchrest.

  • ironmonkey on September 24, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Nice article as always Akash. Thanks a lot, and keep up the great work. If you take requests, I would like to see a little more references to the historical aspects of the game - for instance how various techniques have changed over time with the introduction of the helmet, ODIs, T20, etc. Thanks again.

  • alfredmynn on September 26, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    @Xolile - You make interesting points re Bradman. My opinion leans towards option (ii): Bradman probably got into position a fraction of a second earlier, and had that tiny edge in concentration. It's hard for me to believe that no other pre-war batsman was better than Allan Lamb, especially someone like George Headley, who seems to have had tremendous natural ability. There's significant overlap between generations: Alf Gover bowled to Bradman in his playing days and coached Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, and Ian Bishop. Bradman wasn't perfect. He was supposed to have had a crude technique in his own time, unlike the classical batting of a Hutton. In his book, he mentions that his reflexes were tested by scientists. Result: he was slightly slower than the average university student. But genius can overcome deficiencies. You'd think Usain Bolt of all people is physically perfect, but no: he was born with scoliosis, which left one of his legs shorter than the other.

  • on September 25, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    I remember the dismissal of Lara, it was a bit cheeky I must say. Lara took a huge stride and missed the ball which went safesly into Stewarts glove. Instead of whipping the bails off straight away he waited for the precise moment Lara would raise his back foot to get back into the crease and as he did the waiting stewart gently removed the bails. A few balls later he tried the exact same thing with Hooper but having seen Lara go that way he did not raise his back foot

  • on September 25, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Keeping wickets to the fast and furious Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib and the spin guile of Mushi and Saqlain was no mean feat! It was an interesting article no doubt, but i am afraid if you talking about wicketkeepers then the names Moin Khan and Rashid Latif should not have been left out! Anyhow, keep writing Mr. Chopra it is indeed interesting to know a cricketers point of view to what goes on the field :)

  • ani146 on September 24, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    excellent article aakash... wicket-keeping is a thankless job... no one would remember the efforts, runs saved in a test if the keeper drops just ONE catch and the team goes on to loose the game... keepers are indeed looked upon as specialist batsmen now, which is the reason why many teams have SPECIALIST keepers only for test, while in ODI or T20, it could a part-time keeper... this makes me sad... it is not that keepers of old were not good batsmen, but somewhere down the years, priorities have changed.. now they have to be GREAT batsmen, even if they lack a bit in their keeping... i sincerely wish we again get back to GREAT keepers who are GOOD batsmen, rather than the other way around...

  • BellCurve on September 24, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    @sonofchennai - I was really just messing about with numbers to illustrate a point. I guess, after reading all the various comments, there are broadly three schools of thought: (i) Bradman is as good as the leading Test batsmen of today, but his average is boosted by poor quality bowling, flat wickets, virtually seamless balls, and a fair bit of luck; the other leading batsmen of the era such as Hammond and Headley would also have averaged between 20% and 40% less if they played in recent years; (ii) Bradman is 5% to 10% better than anyone else in history; a tipping point is reached after which batting becomes exponentially easier; Bradman is the only batsman in history to have reached that tipping point; he therefore averages 60% more than anyone else; (iii) Bradman is a true freak of nature; an all-Australian batting superhero; he is the only Grade 20 cricketer in the history of the game; no-one else have progressed beyond Grade 12.

  • brija on September 24, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Akash chopra is not only the most boring cricketer but a boring writer as well. he is neither here nor their. At the time when sehwag was dropped from the indian team he wrote an article ridiculing sehwag's batting ability.

  • sonofchennai on September 24, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    @Xolie: am really amused to see your comments..u shld be a good math though to come up with this analysis...i did see ur earlier comments wer u used Kurtosis to explain don's average now and then whihc is beyond comprehension..but how did u arrive at this 1/28 value..sounds funny but worthy...coz you can arrive at whatever average you want by changin the values for each of those attributes....

  • BellCurve on September 24, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    @BillyCC - There you are. I have to concede to the possibility that Bradman was a Grade 20 batsman, and that we have not seen anyone else above Grade 12. However, that would mean that there is some sort of a multiplier at work, and that a tipping point is reached after which batting becomes exponentially easier. For example, let's assume the key attributes that make a batsman are: hand-eye-coordination; judgement; power; concentration; stamina; agility; and, of course, technique. To calculate a batsman's true ability you award points out of 10 for each of the attributes, multiply the sum by 1/28, and raise the product by the fifth power. Bradman gets full marks for each category for an overall true ability of (10*7)/28^5=97.66. Tendulkar: (10+10+10+7+8+8+10)/28^5=57.66; Chris Martin: (1+7+1+4+7+7)/24^5=1.80. Or something along those lines...

  • Meety on September 24, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    @Ejaz_UK - you goose! Alec Stewart did get a mention. Re: Article - nice work. Prefer some comments regarding who Akash thought was best at certain aspects of w/k. For what its worth I think the best w/k-batsmen doing the rounds at the moment is Sangakarra - although he seems to be stepping out of the w/k aspect these days. I think there are alot of talented w/k playing at the moment like Rahim, Taibu & Ramdin. The rest tend to be more in the w/k-batsmen category, which compared to 20 years ago is overflowing with allrounders. In the 80s Dujon reined supreme as a w/k-batsmen, but now there is Dhoni, Haddin, & Prior post Gilchrest.

  • ironmonkey on September 24, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Nice article as always Akash. Thanks a lot, and keep up the great work. If you take requests, I would like to see a little more references to the historical aspects of the game - for instance how various techniques have changed over time with the introduction of the helmet, ODIs, T20, etc. Thanks again.

  • Woody111 on September 24, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    Wonderful insight as always, Akash. You really should write an instructional book canvassing all the elements you write about here on cricinfo. This could have more detailed which is not possible in an article format with pictures illustrating your points. Wicket keeping is such a difficult aspect to the game and one which has never, and probably never will, get it's due recognition. Keepers seem to only get noticed when they make mistakes. No other position is involved every single delivery of the day. I still think that Haddin's diving catch in Sydney against Pakistan (please don't bring up the possible 'fixing' - we've all written about it to death) as being a major contributor to Aus' win of that test. And to those who consistently bring up unmentioned players from these articles - you are clearly missing the point of these writings. Go and complain somewhere where others care about your opinion.

  • evenflow_1990 on September 24, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    its a shame that some very good keepers were left out. a passing reference wouldn't have taken too much space right? perhaps a little more technical analysis would have been good. but because sanga got a mention, i'm cool with it =P

  • ygkd on September 23, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    Quality wicketkeeping is in decline and one of the main reasons is that it is ridiculously undervalued. It seems to start at grass-roots level, where out-fielders are awarded trophies and top keepers get no attention at all. There is also a belief that no keeper could hold a bat until Gilchrist and Dhoni came along (Engineer and Ames etc obviously never existing at all). However, if you want attacking cricket pick an attacking keeper (which Dhoni isn't). Watch Wayamba's demolition of Central Districts in the CL T20 and see proper play behind the stumps. Thank god the Sri Lankans still have have some regard for this art.

  • BillyCC on September 23, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    anilkp, Dinesh and Prasanna, thanks for your comments. I too am sick of those people who try and hijack articles if their favourite players are not mentioned. Worse still, they try and devalue players already mentioned in the article and downplay their contributions.

  • nuance2k5 on September 23, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    It is very interesting how people don't read the message of the article. This is not about any particular keeper but about the importance of the wicket keeper's role in the team. @Ejaz_UK - the chants "SHABASH SHABASH" were NOT invented by Moin Khan but were used by his predecessors like Wasim Bari. You probably have not watched the greats from the past. I am not an Indian, but I find Aakash's articles to be well written without any bias.

  • champion1469 on September 23, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    mccullum, although now retired, is the best wicket keeper going round. very athletic and he doesnt really drop much.

  • anilkp on September 23, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    Akash, it is strange that your article coincides with the axing and criticism of Mark Boucher by the SAf coach. Reason: Boucher needs to "improve" upon his run average! It is difficult to name a better keeper at the moment. The thoughtless system could have given a better reason: to help expose younger talents to international experience so as to gradually groom a proper replacement for Boucher. We fans and readers take cricketers as humans; their employers consider them as machines--no matter how ordinary machines they themselves have been in past.

  • addiemanav on September 23, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    poor saba karim lost an eye while keeping wickets to anil kumble which ended his career!!

  • sandunk on September 23, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    Kamran is genious at what he does, no one else can match it. Period.

  • on September 23, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    I agree. Keepers have the toughest work to do. Also nowadays batsman-keepers are in demand rather than mainly keepers to add to the value of the side.

  • anilkp on September 23, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    My comment here is not for Akash or his writings, but for those of us readers who accuse that X, Y, Z have not been mentioned in the article--despite being greats themselves. Mates, have you thought how many "greats" have so far played this great game? Even if you consider the specialist greats (batting, spin bowling...) the list would almost fill the page, and still someone could be missing! Do you want Akash to write the names of all the greats of any particular aspect of cricket? Well, he could do that, just that he will have no space left for explaining his point. Try writing a short analysis of something...current politics, Carnot engine, gene silencing, red and white dwarfs or the Neanderthals or anything--in whatever you specialize. Leave it aside for a while, and then read it. Let your friends read it and get their feedback. You will know how much you left unmentioned. You will understand how difficult it is to write something analytically. Please stop bevahing like kids.

  • on September 23, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    @Ejaz_UK - I am always bemused at biased readers - who always look for mentions of their country men in any random piece of writnig. It's almost like some people would want to do a ctrl F just to find someone from their country mentioned in the article and if they don;t find a keyword - they are pissed ! This is about the art of keeping - the article is not titled "The best keepers to play the game". Just like Rashid Latif and Moin Khan there is no mention of Kirmani and Farookh Engineer - it doesn't give one reason to be angry !

  • on September 23, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Aakash was part of the Test team when parthiv was keeping and he would have known him personally and hence he mentioned an incident........ take it easy ijaz.....dont cry lika kid;.....

  • mani86 on September 23, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    @ Ejaz_UK: err, actually Stewart does get a mention. You need to read articles more carefully before making random accusations. Please stop trying to make everything a Pakistan-India contest!!

  • on September 23, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Totally agree with muzika_tchaikovskogo . I know Moin Khan was a great keeper but not mentioning him (or others) does not take anything away from the article. Does mentioning Parthiv Patel here makes him the best in the world? It describes the art of this thankless task so well. Great Job.

  • Ramesh-IT on September 23, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Excellent, well written article Aakash. Can't get better than this in giving crisp and clear points. Though i'm not a fan of your batting, your articles are excellent. And those who tell that some great names didn't get mentioned, this is not an article about gret keepers. It's just about the art of keeping and the various tough requirements of the job.

  • on September 23, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    in subcontinent #1 Rashid Latif, #2 Moin Khan, #3 R Kaluwitharana - all 3 had sheer athleticism, i mean they have taken some absolute stunning dive catches n carried out stumpings in a batter of an eyelid.

  • BellCurve on September 23, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    @Ejaz_UK - I agree that most Indian journalists have irritating Indian centric views (but you can hardly blame them; most of their readers are Indian and have insatiable appetites for articles about you-know-who). But to criticize A Chopra for not mentioning Kamran Akmal is taking it a bit far. Unless of course you are upset that Akmal wasn't mentioned as "the dodgiest wicketkeeper in living memory bar Steve Palframan".

  • mqry on September 23, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    @Ejaz_UK: If you did not know it already, cricinfo is based in B'lore & India generates almost 70% of the revenues.. What do you expect from the majority of websites / countries??

  • on September 23, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @ejaz_UK, u really want Kamran Akmals mention? the only way I see him getting mentioned here is on how bad his wicketkeeping is and never to be like him. I have nothin against pakistan bud, but he is a terrible keeper.

  • AnuragShrivastava on September 23, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Did u really mean to mention Kamran's name in all time best wicketkeepers.

  • eoinsmith001 on September 23, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Great stuff again, Aakash! Very interesting and clear.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on September 23, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    @Ejaz_uk: This article is about the art of wicketkeeping in general. I don't see how a discussion on the technical/ practical aspects of the art of keeping can be one-sided...or is a reference to a Pakistani wicketkeeper somewhere mandatory for a well balanced article?

  • on September 23, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Akash Chopra ain't just a mere reporter, my man. Leave the favoritism lens out of this one.

  • on September 23, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Very nicely written. Also, others please note before commenting that this article is about wicket keeper and his insides and not about mentioning or comparing keepers from different countries or era's.

  • CricShiva on September 23, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    A very well thought of article.I'm a keepeer my self and there are many points in the article that show them in a different perspective. I was waiting for your peice on wikies for a while, thought there would be some pearls you would be sharing on the practice routines for a keeper.

  • Ejaz_UK on September 23, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    I am always bemused by articles written by Indian reporters - I can almost always guarantee that the articles will be one sided rather than general. Alec Stewart, Rashid Latif and even Kamran Akmal do not get a mention. And perhaps most importantly Moin Khan, who invented the chanting of "SHABASH SHABASH" behind the stumps and giving the bowlers a boost of enthusiasm just goes completely ignored here. Try it and see, open up any random article and you will come to the same conclusion.

  • kunuko on September 23, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Absolutely gr8 article. Lot of it was taught by my coach and lot of it is Aakash's international experience. Those itsy-bitsy tips help....

  • on September 23, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    No mention about Prasanna Jaywardena or little Kalu?? hmmm.....

  • sreeb on September 23, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    very well written. keeper is indeed the main man for the captain.. remember the "Kiran more" and miandad incident where miandad was comfortable made uncomfortable at the end of his knock and he lost his wicket finally.

  • denza on September 23, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    good enough but i feel the way cricket is being played now a days wicket keepers are looked upon as a totally different role bearers.

  • fattu on September 23, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    very informative articles specially for budding keepers.it gives insides of wicket keeping

  • manasvi_lingam on September 23, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    A decent piece but I feel that more examples were required of the various techniques that keepers use. What distinguishes a classical keeper like Healy and Boucher from Gilchrist, Sanga, Dhoni, etc. How do the keepers of old compare such as Knott, Kirmani, Marsh, Bari, etc?

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  • manasvi_lingam on September 23, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    A decent piece but I feel that more examples were required of the various techniques that keepers use. What distinguishes a classical keeper like Healy and Boucher from Gilchrist, Sanga, Dhoni, etc. How do the keepers of old compare such as Knott, Kirmani, Marsh, Bari, etc?

  • fattu on September 23, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    very informative articles specially for budding keepers.it gives insides of wicket keeping

  • denza on September 23, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    good enough but i feel the way cricket is being played now a days wicket keepers are looked upon as a totally different role bearers.

  • sreeb on September 23, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    very well written. keeper is indeed the main man for the captain.. remember the "Kiran more" and miandad incident where miandad was comfortable made uncomfortable at the end of his knock and he lost his wicket finally.

  • on September 23, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    No mention about Prasanna Jaywardena or little Kalu?? hmmm.....

  • kunuko on September 23, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Absolutely gr8 article. Lot of it was taught by my coach and lot of it is Aakash's international experience. Those itsy-bitsy tips help....

  • Ejaz_UK on September 23, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    I am always bemused by articles written by Indian reporters - I can almost always guarantee that the articles will be one sided rather than general. Alec Stewart, Rashid Latif and even Kamran Akmal do not get a mention. And perhaps most importantly Moin Khan, who invented the chanting of "SHABASH SHABASH" behind the stumps and giving the bowlers a boost of enthusiasm just goes completely ignored here. Try it and see, open up any random article and you will come to the same conclusion.

  • CricShiva on September 23, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    A very well thought of article.I'm a keepeer my self and there are many points in the article that show them in a different perspective. I was waiting for your peice on wikies for a while, thought there would be some pearls you would be sharing on the practice routines for a keeper.

  • on September 23, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Very nicely written. Also, others please note before commenting that this article is about wicket keeper and his insides and not about mentioning or comparing keepers from different countries or era's.

  • on September 23, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Akash Chopra ain't just a mere reporter, my man. Leave the favoritism lens out of this one.