Wicket-keeping used to be a specialist job 10 or 15 years back where a wicket-keeper used to be solely judged on the basis of his wicket-keeping skills and if he could bat a bit, that was a bonus.
But now batting is a necessity even if you are a good wicket-keeper. You can’t justify your place in the playing XI just by keeping well; you also need to bat well to establish yourself in the team.
And because of the demands of the modern day cricket, the batting skills of the keepers have definitely gone up. There are quite a few teams now which have their wicket-keepers as their main batsmen.
Here are the 4 wicket-keepers who have the highest average in one country –
#1 MS Dhoni (average of 136.50 in Pakistan):
MS Dhoni’s average in Pakistan is insane. He has played 9 innings in Pakistan and has scored 546 runs at an average of 136.50.
Out of the 9 innings, Dhoni has gone past the score of fifty 6 times and has converted one of them into a century. His highest score in Pakistan is 109.
Dhoni was a part of the Indian team which beat Pakistan in an ODI series in Pakistan by 4-1 in 2006. The wicket-keeper batsman had played a key role for India in that series win.
#2 Shai Hope (average of 100.14 in India):
Shai Hope’s average in India is over 100 and that’s a bit of a surprise for a West Indies batsman because the West Indies batsmen, in the recent years, have struggled on pitches which assist the spinners and the Indian pitches mostly do that.
But, Shai Hope, unlike most of the West Indies batsmen, has got a very balanced front-foot and back-foot game against spin. While he can manipulate the strike through mid-off and mid-on on a regular basis, he can also go square of the wicket with the cut shot.
Hope has scored 701 runs in India in 11 games at an average of 100.14 with three hundreds.
#3 MS Dhoni (average of 84.29 in New Zealand):
MS Dhoni features in this list again and that speaks a lot about his greatness as an ODI player. The 39-year old has scored loads of runs in 50-over cricket at home, but he has done that outside India as well and with the same efficiency.
To average more than 80 in a country like New Zealand where the pitches are not always batting friendly, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.
Dhoni has scored 590 runs in New Zealand in 15 matches, averaging 84.29.
#4 AB de Villiers (average of 79.43 in South Africa):
AB de Villers, in actuality, averages 52.01 in South Africa in a total of 97 games, but he has not played all of those games as a wicket-keeper.
The former South African captain has mostly played for his country as a specialist batsman, but in the games where he has donned the gloves for South Africa in South Africa, De Villiers has averaged 79.43.