Bengaluru, May 28: The World Cups are mostly dominated by batsmen or bowlers. It's mainly the runs and wickets (in that order) that people remember as truly heroic feats at the World Cup.
However, another top field that deserves equally respectful eyes is wicket-keeping. Wicket-keepers today are not just meant for keeping the wickets but also all-rounders who can hammer the ball like any specialised hitter.
Moreover, the presence of keepers like Mahendra Singh Dhoni makes wicket-keeping even a thinker's job and raises the bar of expectations even higher.
In the 2019 World Cup scheduled to kick off on Thursday, a few wicket-keepers will be under watch for their special ability. We list four among them here:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India): The 37-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman and also a former World Cup-winning captain, Dhoni will be biggest attraction among all the keepers playing in this World Cup for a number of reasons. First, it is his final World Cup. Second, he has returned to his batting form with a bang and thirdly, he is captain Virat Kohli's third eye on the field with his flawless study of the game from behind the stumps. Not to forget his electric glovework yet. In 341 ODIs, Dhoni has scored over 10,000 runs and claimed over 500 scalps.
Jos Buttler (England): A key member of the England side in this World Cup, not just for keeping but for massive hitting capacity. Buttler is a true match-winner in all sense and his strike rate of almost 120 in the ODIs makes him one of the top draws of this World Cup. Buttler is only 28, but his capacity to play big and brisk knocks has already become legendary. In 131 ODIs, Buttler has scored 3.5 runs and took 188 scalps.
Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh): At 31, Mushfiqur Rahim is set to play his fourth World Cup. The diminutive wicket-keeper-batsman is one of the Tigers' core players and has been a long-standing servant who has seen the worst and best of times in Bangladesh's evolution. Mushfiqur has over 5.5k runs and 200 wicket-keeping scalps in ODIs and given he plays the entire tournament without an injury, the man will be one of the key players in this edition.
Shai Hope (West Indies): The 25-year-old from Barbados will be one of the players to watch out for. Although he is primarily a wicket-keeper, Hope's plus point lies in his batting and it was evident in his recent performance in a tri-series in Ireland. Hope slammed 170 and put up a world-beating 365 runs for the first wicket with John Campbell against Ireland. In the process, Hope smashed the record of Viv Richards to become the fastest West Indian to complete 2,000 runs in ODIs. He has played only 54 ODIs till now, scoring just over 2k runs and effecting 57 dismissals.