The first Test at Galle against India was undoubtedly Dinesh Chandimal’s best performance till date © AFP
The first Test at Galle against India was undoubtedly Dinesh Chandimal’s best performance till date © AFP

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal completed 1,000 runs as a wicketkeeper during his 162 not out against India in the first Test at Galle. Bharath Seervi lists wicketkeepers who have taken fewerst innings to complete 1,000 Test runs.

The first Test at Galle against India was undoubtedly Dinesh Chandimal’s best performance till date. He scored a fine century in the third innings to avoid the team from an innings defeat (after a fifty in the first innings). He scored runs at a rapid rate, reaching 50 in 48 balls, 100 in 100 balls and 150 in 161 balls. Not only did Sri Lanka recover after being 5 for 3 and 95 for 5 (trailing by 192), they also took a 175-run lead. Chandimal was stranded on 162 when the tenth wicket fell. Sri Lanka won the Test by 63 runs.

During his 162 not out, Chandimal completed 1,000 Test runs as a wicketkeeper. It was his 22nd innings as wicketkeeper and he reached the milestone when he scored his 110th run. He has played 19 Tests in his career in which he has stood as wicketkeeper in 13. He became the fastest wicketkeeper to score 1,000 Test. Not many were aware of the record. Chandimal broke the record of Kumar Sangakkara and AB de Villiers, who had reached there in 23 innings each. India’s defeat against Sri Lanka at Galle and other defeats following big first-innings

The table below lists the players who scored completed 1000 test runs as wicketkeeper in least number of innings.

Fastest to 1,000 test runs as a wicketkeeper

Innings Wicketkeeper Team Date Career as wicketkeeper
Runs Average 100s
22 Dinesh Chandimal Sri Lanka 12-Aug-15 1,052 58.44 4
23 AB de Villiers South Africa 22-Feb-13 1,981 58.26 7
23 Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka 04-Jan-02 3,117 40.48 7
24 Jeff Dujon West Indies 26-Jul-84 3,146 31.46 5
25 BJ Watling New Zealand 16-Jun-14 1,440 46.45 4
25 Les Ames England 22-Jul-33 2,387 43.4 8
26 Adam Gilchrist Australia 05-Jul-01 5,570 47.6 17
26 Denis Lindsay South Africa 05-Mar-70 1,000 40 3
27 Matt Prior England 06-May-09 4,099 40.18 7
27 Brad Haddin Australia 08-Jul-09 3,266 32.98 4

–          Some men on the above list did not play as wicketkeepers throughout their careers. Only runs scored as wicketkeeper are aggregated.

–          In all 49 players have aggregated over 1,000 runs as wicketkeeper in Tests. Milestones and records to aim for Kumar Sangakkara in his last series before retirement

–          The first wicketkeeper to complete 1,000 runs in tests was Bert Oldfield. He is one of the slowest to get there in 54 innings.

–          Most players in the above list are from this century, which clearly shows how a wicketkeeper being a good batsman is very important for a side which was the not the case In earlier days.

Let us list the five wicketkeepers who took the most innings to aggregate 1,000 Test runs. The dubious record is held by Wasim Bari, who needed 78 innings to get there (in 1979). Analysis of England’s 100 Test wins by an innings

Slowest to 1000 test runs as a wicketkeeper

Innings Wicketkeeper Team Date Career as wicketkeeper
Runs Average 100s
78 Wasim Bari Pakistan 16-Dec-79 1366 15.88 0
67 Bob Taylor England 02-Jan-83 1156 16.28 0
58 Khaled Mashud Bangladesh 17-Dec-04 1409 19.04 1
58 Ian Smith New Zealand 25-Feb-88 1815 25.56 2
55 Denesh Ramdin West Indies 15-Feb-09 2707 26.28 4

Chandimal (58.44) currently has the highest batting average as wicketkeeper among all who scored over 1,000 runs when playing as wicketkeeper. Ashes 2015, 4th Test at Trent Bridge: Statistical report

Andy Flower is the only wicketkeeper who has an average of more than 50 among completed careers (53.70). Adam Gilchrist has scored more runs and centuries than Flower but had an average of 47.60.

Apart from Chandimal, de Villiers (58.26) and Sarfraz Ahmed (50.30) have averages in excess of 50 in as wicketkeeper.

De Villiers has the record of being the fastest to score 1,000 ODI runs as wicketkeeper (17 innings). He averages 70.54 as wicketkeeper in ODIs.

Only two wicketkeepers have scored 1,000 runs in T20Is — Brendon McCullum (31 innings) and Sangakkara (38). Alviro Petersen, Ashwell Prince’s record First-Class partnership and other statistics

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)