Wicket- Keeping is one of the most important aspects of the game of cricket. A wicket- keeper is a player on the fielding side. He stands behind the stumps and has to be vigilant while performing his task.
He is the only player of the fielding team who puts on gloves and external leg guards. An efficient wicket-keeper also keeps the morale of the team high by shouting words of encouragement to bowlers and fielders in all situations. One of the most important functions of the wicket- keeper is to stop the deliveries that pass the batsman. He can also dismiss the batsman in multiple ways. First, he can catch the ball before it bounces on the field. Second, he can stump the batsman by making use of the ball to remove the stumps, when the batsman is out of crease. Third, when the ball is hit into the outfield, he catches the return throw made by the fielder, by returning close to the stumps. If possible, he may run out the batsman at such occasions. Another important aspect of wicket keeping is the position of the wicket-keeper, which depends upon the bowler. When there is fast bowling, the wicket- keeper usually squats at some distance from the stumps, to have time to react to edges from the batsman. In case of slow bowling, he comes near the stumps to pressurize the batsman. The role of a wicket-keeper is governed by Law 27 of the Laws of Cricket. Nowadays, wicket-keepers are expected to exhibit batting skills also, but their primary role cannot be underestimated. After all “catches win matches”, and a good keeper can effect dismissals which an ordinary fielder cannot. Some of the renowned wicket-keepers in one day cricket include: Kumar Sangakkara, Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher, MS Dhoni etc.
By: Anuja Arora