South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock is facing flak for refusing to take a knee.

In cricket, wicketkeepers don’t get enough credit for their performances as compared to a batsman or bowler. Thus, there has been a curiosity regarding the role of the player behind the gloves.

However, wicketkeeping remains one of the most important jobs in the sport. As they say, ‘Catches win you matches’. Similarly, one single mistake or missed stumping or missed catch can cost a team the whole match.

The role of a wicketkeeper has been defined and redefined by several cricketers over the years. In modern-day cricket, more preference is given to the player who can balance his glovework and batting.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve ranked the current top 8 wicketkeepers who’ve been doing a fine job with both the willow and the gloves. Here’s the list:

8. Mushfiqur Rahman

Mushfiqur Rahman

Veteran Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahman has found a place on the bottom of our list. Rahman has been a part of the Bangladesh national setup for more than 15 years and has more than 10,000 runs across formats.

At 34, the former Bangladesh skipper is still a part of the squad in all three formats. Though his recent form hasn’t been good, mainly due to his fitness, his scores of 40, 40 and 68 against Sri Lanka is a sign, maybe, that he has plenty of cricket left in him.

7. Niroshan Dickwella

Niroshan Dickwella

Niroshan Dickwella has been at the forefront of Sri Lankan crickets revival, still work under process, following the departure of legends like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews.

Dickwella has been a regular part of the national setup, and his numbers aren’t bad either. In Test cricket, Dickwella has scored 2,443 runs at an average of 32.6. His ODI stats are more or less the same but he hasn’t played a 50-over game since 2019.

6. Tim Paine

Australia Test captain Tim Paine

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine took the extra responsibility of leading the Australian side when the team from Down Under was going through its worst phase. His excellent leadership saw Australia retain the Ashes against England in England in 2019.

Australia’s Test skipper’s stats with his willow aren’t bad either. He has played 35 Tests for Australia with 1,534 runs at an average of 32.6, including nine half-centuries. He, however, has been under the fire recently following Australia’s 1-2 defeat to India on home soil.

5. Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan’s rise post the 2019 ICC World Cup has seen him pip former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Khan as first-choice of the team across all three formats. Not only his glovework but his batting has also improved remarkably.

In fact, he already has an international ton each in all three formats. Rizwan averages over 40 in both Test and T20Is but his numbers in ODIs still need some improving upon. Nonetheless, Rizwan has managed to bag the fifth spot on our list.

4. Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant

Six months back, Rishabh Pant won’t even be on this list, let alone the fourth spot. However, his ongoing purple patch, which started back during India’s tour of Australia, has seen him pip both KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha as India’s first-choice gloveman in white-ball and Test cricket, respectively.

Pant has made a substantial improvement to his game in the past six months or so. Not only his batting, but his glovework behind the stumps has been second to none. He averages 45.3, 33.1, 21.3 in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively. However, there is still some room for improvement in the youngster’s game in order to be considered as the best of bests.

3. BJ Watling

BJ Watling

South African-born wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has been a part of the New Zealand setup for more than a decade now. His stunning and consistent showing both with the bat and gloves earned him a permanent place in the team, especially in Test cricket.

Though BJ Watling’s limited-overs career hasn’t been smooth as he has consistently been in and out of the team, he has emerged as a regular face for New Zealand behind the stumps in the purest format of the game.

So far, he has featured in 106 games for New Zealand affecting 259 dismissals including 8 stumpings. He also has 3,773 runs at an average of 38.1 in Test cricket. Earlier this week, BJ Watling decided to call it a day and will hand his boots after the WTC final against India.

2. Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock is one of the most celebrated wicketkeeper-batsman and hence occupies the second spot in this marquee list of the best wicketkeepers in the world at the moment. The 28-year-old made his debut in 2012 in a T20I game against New Zealand.

De Kock, who has already captained the Proteas across all three formats, is known for his aggressive batting approach and agile glovework. He has featured in 221 international games affecting 448 dismissals, including 417 catches and 31 stumpings.

He has also amassed nearly 10,000 runs. He averages 44.74 in ODIs and 37.13 and 31.02 in Test and T20Is.

1. Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler feels all-round India are favourites to lift the 2021 ICC T20I World Cup on home soil.

Jos Buttler is arguably the best wicketkeeper in the world at the moment. Apart from doing an excellent job behind the stumps, Buttler is known for scoring runs aggressively at any given position.

Buttler has featured in 277 games for England affecting 376 dismissals, including 337 catches and 39 stumpings. He has also amassed over 8,000 runs in international cricket with an average of 30 or more across all three formats.

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