Gilchrist made it hard for wicket-keepers to not score runs: Ian Smith


Former New Zealand player Ian Smith reckons that specialist wicket-keepers are now a thing of the past and added that scoring runs is now an essential part for wicket-keepers to keep their place in the side.

Smith also said that Adam Gilchrist was the one who made it hard for wicket-keepers to not score runs, and lauded the Australian for his abilities.
Smith was speaking at an interaction organised by International Cricket Council (ICC) as a part of their podcast series titled ‘Inside Out’.

“Yeah, specalist glovesman, that is their number one skill, I think that is a thing of the past and I was a part of that guys who were in the bracket of being picked because of our wicket-keeping abilities, that was my stop and trade and runs on top of that were pretty much a bonus,” Smith said during the interaction.

“Adam Gilchrist changed that too a large degree, he made it very hard for wicket-keepers to not score runs, you must now be able to bat, by that I mean, wicket-keepers now need to average in the 30s,” he added.

However, Smith said that this is a interesting topic to talk about as he raised the topic of what happens if a wicket-keeper batsman scores runs, but ends up dropping key catches in the match.

“It is a really interesting topic as I might average 40 as a wicket-keeper but if I drop Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, is my 40 runs worth that as these guys may go on to score way more runs,” Smith said.

“Now you are expected to be dully skilled, I think that is a bit of shame, I think silkiness of wicket-keepers was something to behold,” he added.

Ian Smith played 63 Tests and 98 ODIs for New Zealand and he managed to score 2,870 runs across both formats.

Smith called time on his career with 261 dismissals (248 catches, 13 stumpings) in his international career.

On the other hand, Gilchrist finished his career with 813 catches and 92 stumpings, taking his total tally to 905 and he is on the second spot for most-dismissals as a wicket-keeper in international cricket.

Gilchrist played 96 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 13 T20Is for Australia and he managed to score 15,461 runs across all formats of the game.

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