In cricket, the wicket-keeper plays a critical role in various kinds of dismissals such as caught behind, stumping and run outs. However, in the T20 format desires more from a wicket-keeper than just keeping the wickets as every player in the playing XI has a role to play.
Many franchises in the Indian Premier League have sought for a batsman who can keep wickets instead of a wicket-keeper who can bat, while sitting in the auction room. Here’s a look at the best batting performances by a wicket-keeper for each IPL franchise.
#13 Kochi Tuskers Kerala - Parthiv Patel - 37* (31) vs Delhi Daredevils in 2011
The Gujarat born wicket-keeper batsman, Parthiv Patel holds the record of the highest individual score by a KTK wicket-keeper. Playing at the Feroz Shah Kotla against the Delhi Daredevils, the home side set KTK a target of 141 after Venugopal Rao’s 40 helped them post 140/6 in their 20 overs.
KTK were off to a flyer with openers Michael Klinger and Brendon McCullum putting up 61 for the first wicket inside 5.1 overs. Parthiv Patel came out to bat after Klinger’s dismissal and anchored the chase. He played a patient knock of 37 off 31 balls which comprised 5 fours to guide his team home. In the only season he played for the Kochi franchise, Parthiv scored 202 runs in 14 matches at an average of 20.20. Patel has kept wickets for many franchises in his 11-year long IPL career.
#12 Rising Pune Supergiant - Mahendra Singh Dhoni 64*(34) vs Kings XI Punjab in 2017
When the BCCI banned the Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became a part of the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise. The Dhoni-led side did not make it to the play-offs in its first season. However, MS Dhoni made sure they finish the season on a high note. In their last league game against Kings XI Punjab at their adopted home Vizag, skipper Murali Vijay’s 59 and Gurkeerat Singh’s 51 helped KXIP post 172/7 in 20 overs.
RPS were reeling in their chase with the loss of Usman Khawaja, Ajinkya Rahane and George Bailey early in the innings. MS Dhoni came out to bat at number 5 and took the game to the final over where Pune required 22 off the last 6 balls. Dhoni whooped Axar Patel for 3 sixes and 1 four to finish the season in style.
#11 Gujarat Lions - Dinesh Karthik 65 (34) vs Delhi Daredevils in 2017
After Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith lost their wickets cheaply, skipper Suresh Raina and wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik tried to rebuild the Gujarat Lions innings against Delhi. The two Indian stars destroyed the Daredevils bowling attack on a flat Kotla track as both brought up their respective half-centuries in their 133 run partnership. While Raina scored 77 off 43, Dinesh Karthik slammed 65 runs from 34 balls to help the Lions set Delhi a target of 209.
However, a poor bowling performance by the inexperienced GL bowlers helped Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant pull off a record chase for their team. Eventually, DD won the match by 7 wickets with 15 balls to spare. Karthik amassed 361 runs for the Lions in 14 matches during the 2017 edition of IPL.
#10 Royal Challengers Bangalore - 68*(53) vs Mumbai Indians in 2016
2016 saw the rise of KL Rahul as a T20 batsman as the Karnataka boy smashed 397 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 14 matches he played for the franchise. His best performance of 68* (53) came against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
After Mumbai Indians invited the visitors to bat first, RCB got off to a rocky start as they lost their 3 cornerstones Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers with just 60 runs on the board. KL Rahul partnered with the likes of Shane Watson and Sachin Baby to lead the Bangalore side to a respectable total of 151/4. Rahul’s knock comprised 3 fours and 4 sixes.
However Mumbai won the match by 6 wickets as Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler’s vital contributions helped them reach the target comfortably.
#9 Pune Warriors India - Robin Uthappa 75(45) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013
Robin Uthappa was one of the best players of the Pune Warriors India franchise as the Indian discard kept on scoring runs despite the team's failure to win matches. In a league match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the RCB franchise riding on Saurabh Tiwary and AB de Villiers' half centuries reached 187/3 in their 20 overs. Set a stiff target of 188, PWI's chase was led by their opener Uthappa who kept on scoring runs from one end losing partners at regular intervals.
Murali Kartik dismissed Robin Uthappa in the 18th over of the innings but the Karnataka wicket-keeper had played a splendid innings of 75 runs from 45 balls until then. His knock which included 5 fours and 5 sixes went in vain as PWI fell short by 17 runs.
#8 Sunrisers Hyderabad - Naman Ojha 79*(36) vs Kings XI Punjab in 2014
In a league match against the Kings XI Punjab, SRH were invited to bat first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The hosts lost Aaron Finch before Shikhar Dhawan and Naman Ojha stabilized the innings. Shikhar Dhawan (45) lost his wicket to Rishi Dhawan as Naman Ojha and David Warner (44) took the innings forward. In the slog overs, Ojha launched an all-out attack on Sandeep Sharma, who finished with figures of 1/65 in his 4 overs. The Madhya Pradesh born wicket-keeper batsman smashed 7 sixes and 4 fours in his memorable innings.
But Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha’s assaults put Ojha’s efforts in vain as KXIP chased down the target with ease in 18.4 overs. Naman Ojha scored 232 runs for SRH in that season and also took 6 catches behind the wickets.
#7 Chennai Super Kings - Mahendra Singh Dhoni -79*(44) vs Kings XI Punjab in 2018
After Chris Gayle's blitzkrieg helped Kings XI Punjab post a huge 197/7 in their 20 overs against the Chennai Super Kings in a league match in 2018, CSK got off to a shaky start, losing both the openers early in the innings. Ambati Rayudu's calm 49 off 35 helped Chennai reach near the target but it was MS Dhoni whose innings scared the KXIP bowling attack. The Ranchi batsman was at his vintage best as smashed 5 sixes and 6 fours in his 44 ball stay on the crease. Dhoni, as always took the game to the last over with CSK requiring 17 off the final 6 balls.
It seemed like Dhoni would take CSK home but some excellent bowling by Sandeep Sharma ensured the Punjab franchise win the match by 4 runs.
#6 Mumbai Indians - Dinesh Karthik 86(48) vs Delhi Daredevils
Mumbai Indians took field against the Delhi Daredevils in a league match on 9th April 2013 at the Wankhede Stadium. The home side lost the key wickets of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar early in the innings which allowed Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma (74*) take MI to a defendable score. Karthik notched up his highest score in IPL history by smashing 14 boundaries and 2 maximums in his 48 ball knock.
Rohit Sharma ably supported Dinesh Karthik as the duo’s partnership led Mumbai to a huge 209/5 in 20 overs. Ricky Ponting took a famous one-handed catch in this match to dismiss Unmukt Chand on the first ball of DD innings. Mumbai went to win the match by 44 runs and also won the IPL title that season.
#5 Kolkata Knight Riders - Manvinder Bisla 92 (61) vs Chennai Super Kings in 2013
Manvinder Bisla grabbed the spotlight after his career-defining innings against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final 2012. His innings of 89 helped KKR win their first IPL title. In the next season, when KKR went head-to-head against Chennai in a league match, the Super Kings riding on Michael Hussey’s 95 posted 200/3 on the scoreboard. Opener Bisla’s lion-hearted effort helped KKR stay in the chase but when he lost his wicket in the 19th over with the team’s score being 178, KKR could only add more 8 runs in the next 9 balls to slump to a 14 run defeat.
The KKR wicket-keeper batsman smashed 14 fours and 2 sixes in his 61 ball knock but failed to get his side over the line.
#4 Rajasthan Royals- Jos Buttler 95*(60) vs Chennai Super Kings in 2018
With Rajasthan Royals donning the pink jersey for the first time in the IPL history to spread cancer awareness to face the MS Dhoni led CSK, Jos Buttler played a cracker of an innings to etch his names in the history books. After Suresh Raina’s half century helped Chennai reach 176/4 in 20 overs on a flat Jaipur track, RR sprung a surprise by sending Ben Stokes to open the innings with Jos Buttler. The two Englishmen provided an epic start to the Royals as the duo put on 48 runs inside 4 overs before Stokes lost his wicket.
Butler kept on losing partners on their end but that did not hinder the English wicket-keeper to keep runs flowing from his bat. The stalwart scored an unbeaten 95 off 60 which comprised 11 fours and 2 sixes to help RR win the match.
#3 Deccan Chargers - Adam Gilchrist 109*(47) vs Mumbai Indians in 2008
The Australian wicket-keeper batsman was the first wicket-keeper to score an IPL 100 when he did so in the IPL 2008. Playing against Shaun Pollock’s Mumbai Indians, the DC bowling attack restricted the MI side to 154/7 in their 20 overs. RP Singh emerged as the best bowler with figures of 4-1-15-2. At the innings break, nobody predicted the Hyderabad based franchise to achieve the target with 8 overs to spare. But Adam Gilchrist’s whirlwind 109 off 48 balls comprising 9 fours and 10 maximums helped his team win the match by 10 wickets. Skipper VVS Laxman played a patient knock of 37* as he enjoyed Gilchrist’s innings from the non-striker’s innings.
Gilchrist was rightly adjudged the man of the match as his knock not helped DC win the match but also improve their net run rate in the league table.
#2 Kings XI Punjab - Wriddhiman Saha 115*(55) vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL final 2014
Riding on Maxwell and Miller's heroics, the Kings XI Punjab reached their maiden IPL final but the two stalwarts failed to perform their best in the IPL final. The two youngsters Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha took the center stage as they launched an all-out assault on the KKR bowling attack in their 129 run partnership for the 3rd wicket. The Tamil Nadu born wicket-keeper batsman brought up his first IPL century by smashing 10 fours and 8 sixes. He remained unbeaten on 115 off 55 balls at the end of KXIP innings.
Set a target of 200, KKR achieved the target with 3 balls to spare thanks to Manish Pandey's vital innings of 94 which helped put Saha's innings in vain as KXIP failed to win their first IPL title.
#1 Delhi Daredevils - Rishabh Pant 128*(63) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018
At the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, the local boy Rishabh Pant brutally punished the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers on a night where any other DD failed to score even 25. Pant dispatched the ball all round the stadium as he dominated the best bowling attack of the league. The young wicket-keeper batsman brought up his century off 56 balls and stayed unbeaten on 128 which included 15 fours and 7 sixes. His giant effort helped Delhi Daredevils reached 187/5 in 20 overs.
However, the youngster’s efforts went in vain as Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson’s 176 run partnership took SRH home with 9 wickets in hand. Pant did not receive the Player of the Match award for his valiant innings.
Which of these innings was your favorite? Share your views in the comments section below.