Sunday, January 27, 2008

Adam's contribution

Whatever else he did (and you don’t need to read the different pieces on cricket sites and in the blogosphere to know that he has done quite a bit), Adam Gilchrist has ensured one lasting change in international cricket: the wicket-keeper can no longer be a just a useful batsman and an irritant for the opposition. (A wicket-keeper who is a rabbit with the bat? You are a sly Englishman, aren’t you?). Today’s wicket-keeper has to be a specialist batsman first. No longer for us the Alan Knotts, the Syed Kirmanis, the Ian Healys and the Ian Smiths. Instead, we have the likes of Mark Boucher, Kumar Sangakkara, Tatenda Taibu and MS Dhoni. The last-mentioned may not be the best wicket-keeper in his country, but he is perhaps their best wicket-keeper-batsman. Even Kamran Akmal, that ultimate anti-wicket-keeper, is persisted with by Pakistan, purely for his batting skills. And England, er, who is their wicket-keeper now?

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