"Flamboyant, colourful and confident" - the noted cricket writer Dick Brittenden calls Wadsworth an Aussie. Wadsworth's contribution to the team of the seventies went beyond his 96 dismissals and a batting average of 21.48. A year after death cut short his career when at its peak, the Australians agreed to start their tour match a day before schedule because they wanted
to play the Wadsworth testimonial match - and they fielded their Test XI for it.
Smith holds enviable records for his batting. His 173 off 136 balls against India in 1989-90 is the highest for a No. 9, his strike-rate of 99.43 in ODIs is the third-highest for batsmen who have managed 1000 runs, and he also took 24 off one Atul Wasan over - a Test record then. All along, his wicketkeeping hardly ever made the headlines for the wrong reasons, and more importantly, he played his cricket with effervescence and warmth.
One of the first New Zealand internationals to make an impression outside the country, James excelled while keeping to Bill Merritt's legbreaks and googlies as the two formed an efficient team at Northamptonshire, for whom James scored over a thousand runs in 1938. James was one of the first keepers to stand back to medium-pacers. His lightning reflexes and quick hands helped keep inconspicuous a batting average of 4.72 in Tests.
Nicknamed Maverick, often rebellious, Parore was considered brash. And indeed, if you pulled off dismissals as pictured above, your sense of self-worth would naturally be high. Parore had the skill, and was born in the right era, to have possibly become the first New Zealander to play 100 Tests. The personality clashes that kept him from achieving that landmark can't take away from his fine work both in front of and behind the stumps.
Supremely athletic as a wicketkeeper and explosively aggressive as a batsman, McCullum was born for limited-overs cricket, and gives MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara a tough fight when it comes to picking the best current wicketkeeper-batsman. Sangakkara now plays just as a batsman in Tests, which - given the current New Zealand middle order - McCullum can well do too.
We'll be publishing an all-time New Zealand XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To vote for your top New Zealand wicketkeeper click here