January 24, 2014

Pakistan's hunt for a wicketkeeper-batsman

In the last four years, Pakstan's wicketkeepers have averaged 19.44 in Tests, with no centuries in 59 innings - the worst record among all teams
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A couple of decades ago, wicketkeepers in Test cricket were judged by how well they kept wicket; their batting skills were useful, but their place in the team didn't depend on it. An average in the mid-20s, or even lower, was acceptable. Rod Marsh played 96 Tests and scored only three hundreds, averaging 26.51; Godfrey Evans averaged 20.49 in 91 matches. India's Syed Kirmani did better, managing 27.04 runs per dismissal, but for Wasim Bari it was only 15.88 in 81 matches, and England's Bob Taylor averaged 16.28 in 57. Most of these players only had average skills with the bat, but they were all outstanding behind the stumps, because of which they enjoyed long careers.

In the last couple of decades, though, the batting skills of wicketkeepers have come into far greater prominence. Adam Gilchrist, Andy Flower, and more recently Matt Prior and MS Dhoni, have gradually changed the job description for wicketkeepers: from a role that required excellence behind the stumps and merely passable skills with the bat, it's now a role which needs more-than-adequate batting skills, to go with clean glovemanship.

As the graphic shows, from an average of 20.60 in the 1950s, the batting average of wicketkeepers has gone up to 31.81 in the 2000s, and 33.74 since the beginning of 2010. In the 1980s, wicketkeepers scored only 14 centuries in 773 innings - an average of one every 55 innings; in the 1990s that rate came down to one every 36 innings, with 30 hundreds in 1086 innings; in the 2000s it reduced further to 23, as 65 hundreds were scored in 1490 innings. (Click here for the full decade-wise stats since the 1920s.)

In terms of batting averages by decades, wicketkeepers have never had it as good as since 2010, averaging 33.74 from the beginning of that year. However, it seems no one has told Pakistan's wicketkeepers that this is supposed to be their best period with the bat: in these last four years, they've averaged a miserable 19.44, which is their second-lowest in any decade; the only decade in which they averaged lower was in the 1970s, when, in 69 innings, they scored 17.98 runs per dismissal. That's also the only decade, apart from the current one, when there was no century scored by a Pakistan wicketkeeper: the highest in the 1970s was Bari's 85 against India in 1978; their highest since 2010 is 88 by Zulqarnain Haider at Edbgaston.

Compared to the poor batting numbers for Pakistan's wicketkeepers, some of the other countries have done remarkably well. South Africa lead the way with five hundreds and a superb average of 45.15, while Bangladesh, thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim, have done very well too. England, India and Sri Lanka are the other teams whose wicketkeepers have averaged more than 35 with the bat.

Team-wise batting stats for wicketkeepers in Tests since Jan 2010
Team Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
South Africa 35 2032 45.15 5/ 10
Bangladesh 20 1399 39.97 2/ 8
England 52 2579 38.49 5/ 16
India 43 2231 35.98 3/ 12
Sri Lanka 33 1553 35.29 4/ 6
Australia 47 2513 33.95 4/ 17
New Zealand 33 1661 33.89 4/ 8
West Indies 33 1230 27.33 3/ 5
Zimbabwe 10 424 22.31 0/ 2
Pakistan 36 1050 19.44 0/ 5

Pakistan have been getting very few runs from their wicketkeepers in these last four years, but it wasn't always so. During the five years from 2005 to 2009, the batting average for Pakistan's wicketkeeper - there was only one during that period, Kamran Akmal - was 38.98, twice the average over the last four years. (The problem for Pakistan during that period, though, was the number of runs Akmal gave away by dropping crucial catches.)

Among the regular Test-playing teams, only Australia had a better batting average by their wicketkeepers, and even there the difference was marginal - just one run separated Australia and Pakistan. The two top teams in this aspect over the last four years - South Africa and Bangladesh - were in the bottom half during that period: South Africa averaged 30, and Bangladesh less than 23.

Team-wise batting stats for wicketkeepers in Tests between 2005 and 2009
Team Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Zimbabwe 8 607 43.35 1/ 5
Australia 56 2999 39.98 7/ 12
Pakistan 38 2300 38.98 6/ 11
India 51 2557 36.01 3/ 19
Sri Lanka 45 2229 35.38 4/ 6
England 64 2712 30.13 3/ 19
South Africa 52 2100 30.00 1/ 13
New Zealand 39 1850 29.83 2/ 10
Bangladesh 27 1062 22.59 0/ 4
West Indies 47 1556 21.02 1/ 9

In the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan's wicketkeeper, scored 134 runs in four innings at an average of 33.50, with a highest of 74. Those aren't outstanding stats, but Sarfraz's performances were encouraging simply because they were much better than those of other Pakistan wicketkeepers in the last few series: in the two-match series against South Africa in the UAE, the average was 12.33; on the tour to South Africa it was 13.83 in six innings; against England in the UAE in 2011-12 it was 17.80 in five innings; and against England in England in 2010 it was 14 in eight innings.

Sarfraz himself did much better against Sri Lanka than he had in his previous Test opportunities: in eight Test innings before this series, he'd scored 89 runs at an average of 11.12. Compared to those numbers, what he achieved against Sri Lanka was encouraging, and perhaps not a complete surprise to Pakistan fans given that he has already scored seven first-class centuries, and averages 40.11 in those matches.

However, in the period since 2010, there isn't a single Pakistan wicketkeeper in the list of top ten batting averages (with a 15-innings cut-off). AB de Villiers tops the list with an incredible average of 60.21 in 25 innings, while New Zealand's BJ Watling has been superb too, beefing up their lower order with some solid performances. Matt Prior had two wretched Ashes series recently, but his overall average during this period is still a healthy 40.15, thanks to his consistency from 2010 to the early part of 2013. Mushfiqur Rahim falls just one run short of an average of 40, with ten 50-plus scores in 37 innings.

Pakistan's wicketkeepers during this period have done little of note with the bat. Adnan Akmal has scored the most runs - 591 - but it's taken him 29 innings to make them, at an average of 24.62. Haider's played only two innings, but the others have nothing to recommend themselves.

Top batting averages for wicketkeepers in Tests since Jan 2010 (Qual: 15 inngs)
Player Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
AB de Villiers 25 1385 60.21 5/ 5
BJ Watling 17 698 46.53 2/ 5
Matt Prior 76 2530 40.15 5/ 16
Mushfiqur Rahim 37 1399 39.97 2/ 8
Denesh Ramdin 27 816 38.85 3/ 3
MS Dhoni 65 2166 37.34 3/ 12
Matthew Wade 22 623 34.61 2/ 3
Brad Haddin 53 1603 33.39 2/ 12
Prasanna Jayawardene 37 1017 31.78 2/ 3
Mark Boucher 24 647 29.40 0/ 5

Between 2005 and 2009, Pakistan had Kamran Akmal to represent them among the top wicketkeeper-batsmen, in terms of batting at least. His glovework was often questioned, but as a batsman his numbers were up there with those of Prior, Haddin, Dhoni and Gilchrist. He scored six centuries in 65 innings, but since then Pakistan have had none in 59.

However, Sarfraz's batting displays against Sri Lanka were encouraging, and his first-class stats suggest he clearly has some batting skill. Adnan Akmal was the first-choice keeper for the series before he injured his finger in the first Test, but his first-class batting stats aren't as impressive as Sarfraz's: an average of 25.72, with 22 fifty-plus scores in 173 innings. The wicketkeeping skills will obviously be the key aspect, but Pakistan will hope that whichever player they opt for will contribute a little more with bat in hand as well.

Top batting averages for wicketkeepers in Tests between 2005 and 2009 (Qual: 20 inngs)
Player Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Matt Prior 40 1390 42.12 2/ 11
Brad Haddin 38 1404 41.29 2/ 5
MS Dhoni 62 2176 40.29 3/ 16
Adam Gilchrist 44 1574 39.35 5/ 7
Kamran Akmal 65 2300 38.98 6/ 11
Kumar Sangakkara 29 1080 38.57 2/ 4
Prasanna Jayawardene 37 1035 33.38 2/ 2
Brendon McCullum 62 1823 30.38 2/ 10

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ygkd on January 24, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    One of the problems with discussing wicket-keeping is that it is largely unseen in statistics. If a batsman has losses of concentration, resulting in losing his wicket too easily, it lowers his batting average. If a bowler loses concentration and delivers regular pies, his average soars. Keepers, on the other hand, are not really proven by counting the byes, for you can keep byes down by standing further back to pace and by being generally agile up at the stumps. A good gloveman will always let some byes through though, striving for extra wickets. It is when half-chances come that their value soars. The underneath edge taken off a spinner, the stumping after waiting for the foot to lift, the catch on a low pitch which carried due to being two paces closer - these are the things concentration and good technique deliver that can turn a match. We all know of flat-track bully batsmen and of bowlers who can clean up a bunny but can't run through a top-order. The same goes for keepers.

  • on January 24, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    I would love to see the other side of the picture as well. As a wicketkeeper, the player should be able to keep the wickets well and grab the chances offered. Can we see the statistics of dropped catches, missed stumpings and runs given as byes. Only then, we can have a true picture of who was the best keeper in the last decade. To me, if a keeper scores at an avg of 35-40 and drops a couple of catches then he is by no means a good wicketkeeper.

  • ygkd on January 24, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    I would disagree with the assertion that keeping is now a role which needs more-than-adequate batting skills, to go with clean glovemanship. Why? Because, from what I've seen (and I've been around long enough to remember Bari & Kirmani, for example), although batting is very much required clean glovemanship is no longer so important. One factor has been limited-overs. Young keepers today routinely stand too far back because cutting extras is crucial. Catching alongside a slip cordon is not so ingrained. Even the English style of keeping, once so great and fluid, has been simplified into the restrictive power squat with juggling-a-hot-potato hands. Australia is not a lot better off. U19 keepers who can swing a bat are everywhere but good glovemanship is rare and not encouraged. Sure there are fine keepers. Jayawardene, Rahim and the Redback's Tim Ludeman are as good as one can wish for. But there are also a lot of batsmen with gloves in their bag just in case it helps with selection.

  • westindiesupporter on January 27, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    West Indies really need a good wicketkeeper batsman. No one is there except Ramdin.

  • on January 26, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Sarfaraz just need to hold his nerves and play sensibly. He has dine wonders for his first class team and i m pretty sure he will be an asset if given continued opportunity to play for pakistan.

  • on January 25, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    I just love the akmal brothers. kamran akmal is a great batsman. umer akmal wonderful batsman and a great fielder. adnan is young and he can do better. adnan is a keeper. umer nd kamran has performed countlessly for pakistan in batting. they should be considered as batsman

  • on January 25, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    Pak ve employed a good ploy by inserting UMAR AKMAL with a role of keeping in T20s n ODIs cz in this manner, WE ARE NOW ABLE TO PLAY An extra bat, al rounder or a bowler upon the demand of the pitch. Umar akmal is a stylish batsman who comes at Number 6 and perform nearly 70% of the times what is expected from him at this number and has the ability to come up the order if required ever and will be used up the order once MISBAH will retire. Currently, ADNAN akmal and Sarfaraz, both are having the safest pair of keeping hands in Pakistani circuit but SARFARAZ has the additional ability to bat well, and bat technically well. His batting stance, technique and FC average all suggests that he is a bright prospect and has equal batting tendency what KAMRAN akmal possess with more potent gloving. So by employing SARFARAZ in tests and U.AKMAL in ODIS and T20s, Pakistan are preparing 2 wicket keepers at a time with both after 2 years can shuffle in between tests n limiited overs cricket.

  • bored_iam on January 25, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @Rajesh: Interesting article. Could you elaborate on why there seemed to be a rise upto the 1970s and then the sudden drop through the 1980s? Is that consistent with the average Batting stats overall too?

  • Bone84 on January 25, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    There is a young kid called Mohamed rizwan who is 21 and has 3 hundreds at 41 they should give him a go

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Hats off to the chart toppers who are also captains. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be constantly rethinking strategies but at the same time maintaining the focus to keep wickets, and to come back around and score with the bat. And then team meetings and press conferences in the evening. When do these guys ever "turn off"?

  • ygkd on January 24, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    One of the problems with discussing wicket-keeping is that it is largely unseen in statistics. If a batsman has losses of concentration, resulting in losing his wicket too easily, it lowers his batting average. If a bowler loses concentration and delivers regular pies, his average soars. Keepers, on the other hand, are not really proven by counting the byes, for you can keep byes down by standing further back to pace and by being generally agile up at the stumps. A good gloveman will always let some byes through though, striving for extra wickets. It is when half-chances come that their value soars. The underneath edge taken off a spinner, the stumping after waiting for the foot to lift, the catch on a low pitch which carried due to being two paces closer - these are the things concentration and good technique deliver that can turn a match. We all know of flat-track bully batsmen and of bowlers who can clean up a bunny but can't run through a top-order. The same goes for keepers.

  • on January 24, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    I would love to see the other side of the picture as well. As a wicketkeeper, the player should be able to keep the wickets well and grab the chances offered. Can we see the statistics of dropped catches, missed stumpings and runs given as byes. Only then, we can have a true picture of who was the best keeper in the last decade. To me, if a keeper scores at an avg of 35-40 and drops a couple of catches then he is by no means a good wicketkeeper.

  • ygkd on January 24, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    I would disagree with the assertion that keeping is now a role which needs more-than-adequate batting skills, to go with clean glovemanship. Why? Because, from what I've seen (and I've been around long enough to remember Bari & Kirmani, for example), although batting is very much required clean glovemanship is no longer so important. One factor has been limited-overs. Young keepers today routinely stand too far back because cutting extras is crucial. Catching alongside a slip cordon is not so ingrained. Even the English style of keeping, once so great and fluid, has been simplified into the restrictive power squat with juggling-a-hot-potato hands. Australia is not a lot better off. U19 keepers who can swing a bat are everywhere but good glovemanship is rare and not encouraged. Sure there are fine keepers. Jayawardene, Rahim and the Redback's Tim Ludeman are as good as one can wish for. But there are also a lot of batsmen with gloves in their bag just in case it helps with selection.

  • westindiesupporter on January 27, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    West Indies really need a good wicketkeeper batsman. No one is there except Ramdin.

  • on January 26, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Sarfaraz just need to hold his nerves and play sensibly. He has dine wonders for his first class team and i m pretty sure he will be an asset if given continued opportunity to play for pakistan.

  • on January 25, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    I just love the akmal brothers. kamran akmal is a great batsman. umer akmal wonderful batsman and a great fielder. adnan is young and he can do better. adnan is a keeper. umer nd kamran has performed countlessly for pakistan in batting. they should be considered as batsman

  • on January 25, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    Pak ve employed a good ploy by inserting UMAR AKMAL with a role of keeping in T20s n ODIs cz in this manner, WE ARE NOW ABLE TO PLAY An extra bat, al rounder or a bowler upon the demand of the pitch. Umar akmal is a stylish batsman who comes at Number 6 and perform nearly 70% of the times what is expected from him at this number and has the ability to come up the order if required ever and will be used up the order once MISBAH will retire. Currently, ADNAN akmal and Sarfaraz, both are having the safest pair of keeping hands in Pakistani circuit but SARFARAZ has the additional ability to bat well, and bat technically well. His batting stance, technique and FC average all suggests that he is a bright prospect and has equal batting tendency what KAMRAN akmal possess with more potent gloving. So by employing SARFARAZ in tests and U.AKMAL in ODIS and T20s, Pakistan are preparing 2 wicket keepers at a time with both after 2 years can shuffle in between tests n limiited overs cricket.

  • bored_iam on January 25, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @Rajesh: Interesting article. Could you elaborate on why there seemed to be a rise upto the 1970s and then the sudden drop through the 1980s? Is that consistent with the average Batting stats overall too?

  • Bone84 on January 25, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    There is a young kid called Mohamed rizwan who is 21 and has 3 hundreds at 41 they should give him a go

  • on January 24, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Hats off to the chart toppers who are also captains. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be constantly rethinking strategies but at the same time maintaining the focus to keep wickets, and to come back around and score with the bat. And then team meetings and press conferences in the evening. When do these guys ever "turn off"?

  • Temuzin on January 24, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Pakistan should swap a fast bowler with India's Dhoni. Indian fans are not happy with Dhoni any way and Should be happy to let him go.

  • Sameeratennakoon on January 24, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    While Pakistan suffers with lack of good wicket keepers ,Sri Lanka has to play with 3 or 4 full time wicket keepers for a single match.Actually SL never With Kusal Perera, Kaushal Silva, Chandimal, and some old guys like sanga , prasanna ,dilshan SL is rich of quality WKs. Even upul tharanga and Chamara kapugedara are WKs in domestic level. I think SL should play 3 different WKs in 3 formats. When sanga says bye to gloves kusal should take them. Prasanna Jayawardana is the best WK at the moment. When he leaves Chandimal or Kausal can replace him..

  • Warm_Coffee on January 24, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    Wicket-keeping is such an underrated role in Cricket.

  • moss4u on January 24, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    We need Keeper like Gilchrist !!!

  • mtfb on January 24, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Wicket keepers should be selected primarily on their keeping ability. I'm fed up of watching back-stops who are meant to be keepers (Alec Stewart, Matt Prior) giving away boat loads of runs (dropped catches, byes). If you deduct the runs that they gifted the opposition from their scores with the bat then their stats don't look so good. Let keepers keep.

  • Chris_P on January 24, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    Try comparing how many catches they drop because they are not quite up to scratch?

  • tanweeralam on January 24, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    Adnan is from Akmal family and that is the reason he is inside. There is one Akmal quota in each Odi test or T20 sans thia Sarfaraz is default choice for test based on any stats domestic and now even international.

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    @ pradeep_dealwis: Dont say anything like to that to AB, you will regret that. He pulled of some stunning catches behind the wicket against india recently. This guy is good everywhere.

  • dmqi on January 24, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    Umar Akmal should get good training to become permanent wicket keeper and batsman for all 3 forms of matches. That is a must for Akmal to get back into the team and utilize his potential. Till then Sarfaraz is fine.

  • MrGarreth on January 24, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    @pradeep_dealwis AB is as top class as you get and it shouldn't come as a surprise considering what an awesome fielder he is. He took ten catches and a 100 in a match against Pakistan earlier this year. If that isn't test grade, I don't know what is. It's amazing that whenever a wicketkeeper is a great batsman people doubt his keeping credentials. AB has pulled off things behind the stumps that most so-called 'specialist keepers' could not, quite simply because he is an unbelievable athlete.

  • on January 24, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Sarfaraz has come up as a good wicket-keeper batsman. He's been victim of in-out situation, but he has proved himself in recent Sri Lanka series.

  • Romanticstud on January 24, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Interesting stats as always ... South Africa had Mark Boucher who averaged 30 with the bat during the end of the 2000-2012 ... With his retirement, they have used AB as a stop-gap keeper ... Thami Tsolekile was supposed to be his replacement ... It is a wonder why he still was not selected given the strength of the South African batting line-up until the end of last year ... Another option would be to give Quintin de Kock the gloves and let him open with Petersen ... and give Smith the freedom to slot in to the vacant Kallis position ...

  • on January 24, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    @pradeep_dealwis Apparently Godfrey Evans, Rod Marsh, Syed Kirmani and Wasim Bari were before your time. They were specialist wicket keepers.

  • on January 24, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Sarfraz must be number 1 WK, with replacement of Jamal ANwar and Adnan for future....

  • Zeshan547 on January 24, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    I think it's getting very tricky , because the best keeper we have is adnan akmal but he is worst with the bat, and case is vise versa with his brother kamran akmal best with the bat but worst keeper, and surfraz is just ok wicket keeper and just ok in batting, so in current scenario i will pick surfraz but he will have to impove his both skills to be permanent, or else we should try umar akmal in tests as a wicket keeper, because it will help us to play extra bowler or batsman.

  • Hasun888 on January 24, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    As bad as the batting average is for Pakistan wicket-keepers, what's worse is the keeping standards. I feel that Pakistan needs to first focus on improving keeping standards. I believe Pakistan will do far better with a solid keeper who averages in the 20s than a poor keeper who averages 30+.

  • on January 24, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    A wicket keeper is a specialist position. What is needed is his glove work and presence of mind, because he is also the pivot for making run out attepmts successful. The trend towards expecting every wicket keeper to be a ABD or a Sangga or a Dhoni is expecting too much. SA are blessed because now that ABD perhaps may not be able to keep wickets de Cock is an admirable replacement. But can SL or India expect that Sngaa's & Dhoni's replacements will be as good in both batting and wicket keeping. Its going to be difficult. If Pakistan had a Wasim Bari today the matter would be already settled.

  • pradeep_dealwis on January 24, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    in the case of AB, he isn't really a top class keeper is he? Not test grade, and nothig like Boucher.....only two real wicket keepers seem to be on that list Prior and Jayawardena

  • pradeep_dealwis on January 24, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    in the case of AB, he isn't really a top class keeper is he? Not test grade, and nothig like Boucher.....only two real wicket keepers seem to be on that list Prior and Jayawardena

  • on January 24, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    A wicket keeper is a specialist position. What is needed is his glove work and presence of mind, because he is also the pivot for making run out attepmts successful. The trend towards expecting every wicket keeper to be a ABD or a Sangga or a Dhoni is expecting too much. SA are blessed because now that ABD perhaps may not be able to keep wickets de Cock is an admirable replacement. But can SL or India expect that Sngaa's & Dhoni's replacements will be as good in both batting and wicket keeping. Its going to be difficult. If Pakistan had a Wasim Bari today the matter would be already settled.

  • Hasun888 on January 24, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    As bad as the batting average is for Pakistan wicket-keepers, what's worse is the keeping standards. I feel that Pakistan needs to first focus on improving keeping standards. I believe Pakistan will do far better with a solid keeper who averages in the 20s than a poor keeper who averages 30+.

  • Zeshan547 on January 24, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    I think it's getting very tricky , because the best keeper we have is adnan akmal but he is worst with the bat, and case is vise versa with his brother kamran akmal best with the bat but worst keeper, and surfraz is just ok wicket keeper and just ok in batting, so in current scenario i will pick surfraz but he will have to impove his both skills to be permanent, or else we should try umar akmal in tests as a wicket keeper, because it will help us to play extra bowler or batsman.

  • on January 24, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Sarfraz must be number 1 WK, with replacement of Jamal ANwar and Adnan for future....

  • on January 24, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    @pradeep_dealwis Apparently Godfrey Evans, Rod Marsh, Syed Kirmani and Wasim Bari were before your time. They were specialist wicket keepers.

  • Romanticstud on January 24, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Interesting stats as always ... South Africa had Mark Boucher who averaged 30 with the bat during the end of the 2000-2012 ... With his retirement, they have used AB as a stop-gap keeper ... Thami Tsolekile was supposed to be his replacement ... It is a wonder why he still was not selected given the strength of the South African batting line-up until the end of last year ... Another option would be to give Quintin de Kock the gloves and let him open with Petersen ... and give Smith the freedom to slot in to the vacant Kallis position ...

  • on January 24, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Sarfaraz has come up as a good wicket-keeper batsman. He's been victim of in-out situation, but he has proved himself in recent Sri Lanka series.

  • MrGarreth on January 24, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    @pradeep_dealwis AB is as top class as you get and it shouldn't come as a surprise considering what an awesome fielder he is. He took ten catches and a 100 in a match against Pakistan earlier this year. If that isn't test grade, I don't know what is. It's amazing that whenever a wicketkeeper is a great batsman people doubt his keeping credentials. AB has pulled off things behind the stumps that most so-called 'specialist keepers' could not, quite simply because he is an unbelievable athlete.

  • dmqi on January 24, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    Umar Akmal should get good training to become permanent wicket keeper and batsman for all 3 forms of matches. That is a must for Akmal to get back into the team and utilize his potential. Till then Sarfaraz is fine.