The Proteas have been blessed with some top wicket-keepers. And the question will always be, which 'keeper is top of the pile, and why? Stuart Hess looks into this tricky question.
SOUTH AFRICA’S been really lucky in the post-isolation period to be blessed with some high quality wicket-keepers. Today Stuart Hess picks his ‘keeper for the best SA side since 1991.
WICKET-KEEPER (and batsman)
Quinton de Kock is a heck of batsman which means his keeping is often forgotten. That in some ways is good. ‘Keepers aren’t supposed to be noticed. Catch the ball every time, and ya, job done.
De Kock’s keeping is actually pretty slick, even if there has been criticism of his movement – which tends to be lazy at times. But you don’t notice it, because he catches the ball when it matters. He’s certainly athletic, diving well either left or right and standing up to the stumps he’s pulled off some sensational catches – especially off the bowling of Vernon Philander.
His batting is what sets him apart from South Africa’s other two main wicket-keepers of the post-isolation age. He’s so good debate has raged about him batting up the order and relinquishing the gloves – something he’s not keen on.
His record shows that he provides the greatest value with the bat coming in at No 7, where against tired bowlers he is quick to take advantage of errors. All five of his Test hundreds have come at No 7, where he averages 49.87. His 104 against the Australians at Hobart in 2016 remains his best innings.
Mark Boucher still holds the world record for the most Test dismissals 555, a figure that is likely to stand for a very long time, given how many fewer Tests are played these days.
Dave Richardson notched up 150 dismissals in his career – just two of which were stumpings – and was a nuggety contributor in the lower order.