The concept of comparing two exponents in a field gives us a clear picture of the individuals involved in it.
Especially in cricket, it has always been the batsmen and bowlers where the analogy takes place with high interest.
In wicket keeping, there wasn’t any competition among the glove workers behind the stumps until these two icons made their mark; they brought in a new debate in town of ‘who is better than who,’ with the competency crept into batting too.
Along with the Warne – Muralitharan comparisons, the keepers kept for the talented bowlers got the limelight for their tough jobs.
- Adam Gilchrist kept the lethal pacers of Australia along with the spin wizard Shane Warne’s magical variations.
- While at the other side, Kumar Sangakkara stood behind the stumps for Muttiah Muralitharan’s mystery bowling and other unique talents of Sri Lanka.
Both kept the wicket at different conditions, and at the same time, both the exponents were extremely good at what they were doing throughout their career.
We are taking you into the elements through which they can be compared so effectively.
Let’s start with the strengths of both:
- Being an Australian wicketkeeper, Gilly has natural footwork to cover the line of the ball.
- It’s mainly because of the bouncing and fast tracks of Australia in his period.
- You can find this skill in all the Australian wicket keepers, but Gilly is the niche combined with proven glove work.
- The bloke from New South Wales can be found more relaxed while keeping.
- Soft hands have been the reason for collecting without any noise from the glove.
- Addedly, that has been the reason for his success while standing close for the medium pacers.
The stumping of Craig McMillan of Glenn McGrath’s 136 kph delivery in 2005, is an excellent example of Gilly’s soft hands.
- The best keeper of fast bowling had the habit of receiving the ball at his inside hip region.
- This had led the Australian to be in the opportune spot to gather the thick edges that went away to the slip fielders.
In a domestic match against Southern Australia in 1995, Gilly grabbed a stunner that went to the second slip, and it apparently showed how he was able to reach the ball with his receiving technique.
- Adam Gilchrist was excellent at adapting to the situations.
- He was gathering at his inside hip in Australia, and at the same time, he was not hesitant in receiving the ball at his body line in the swinging conditions of England.
- Likewise, he alters his techniques according to the factors of the grounds he played.
- Sangakkara kept his eyes peeled for every ball he kept.
- It was the must element for him when he was standing behind Muralitharan’s magical deliveries.
- That is to say: he was expecting every ball into his gloves.
Moreover, it had made him successful when he stood close by the stumps.
- One-handed catches were the testament for his ability of reflection.
- Unlike other keepers, Sanga preferred reacting with dives for thick edges rather than moving with his feet.
It would be best if you looked at the breathtaking effort he made to grab the inside edge of Brendon McCullum at the 2007 New Zealand tour to understand the utmost reflex of Sanga.
- His exposure with the uncommon Sri Lankan bowlers produced uncanny knacks in the art of keeping.
- Besides, this created the smartness within him, where he was able to predict the snicks even before the batsman was connecting the ball.
- And his cleverness had been the reason behind his stunt-filled catches.
Sangakkara’s down the leg catch of Ravi Bopara’s paddle sweep in 2014 was something that could be pulled off only with intelligence.
- The Sri Lankans diving ability has helped him gather the snicks where it was too late to use his feet.
- The best part was the techniques he used to follow to complete the dive.
- He was able to amend his landing according to the way he went for the ball.
The dive made at the last second to fetch Shahid Afridi’s wicket in the T20 cup 2013 showed us the natural skill of the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper.
- Sanga made 482 dismissals in his 352 innings, whereas Gilly took just 281 innings to dispatch 472 wickets.
- It was the stumpings that made Sangakkara surpass Gilly. Sanga clubbed 99 stumpings while Gilly was able to produce 55.
Based on the numbers, Adam Gilchrist’s achievements have created more impact than that of Kumar Sangakkara in ODI.
Here, in our in-depth wicket-keeping statistical blog, all four top wicket keepers (Sanga, Gilly, Dhoni, and Boucher) were compared statistically with their ODI numbers.
- Adam Gilchrist entirely dominates wicket keeping in Test cricket. He has got a whopping number of 416 dismissals in 191 innings he kept for Australia.
- Romesh Kaluwitharana and Prasanna Jayawardene have kept an equal number of matches for Sri Lanka during Sanga’s career.
- This circumstance made Sangakkara wear his gloves only for 90 innings, where he fetched 151 dismissals.
Again the challenging wicket-keeping department in Tests is dominated by Gilly even with numbers when compared to Sangakkara.
Comparison based on execution
When it comes to fast bowlers, Gilly has made a great effort in managing the lethal speed of the Australian bowlers while Sanga was able to keep bowlers who were comparatively slower than Aussie bowlers.
Definitely, Gilly is better at grabbing steaming deliveries even when the ball gets deviated away through edges by making great use of his feet.
Sangakkara did the tough job of keeping Muralitharan and other mystery bowlers like Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath. And as the reward for his effort, Sanga was able to produce more numbers in stumping.
It is to be noted that Shane Warne was the only bowler who was more challenging for Gilly when he stood up to the stumps.
Comparatively, it is Sanga who has the upper hand in keeping the spinners and making substantial impacts through stumpings.
It took acrobatic dives for Kumar Sangakkara to cover a distance that Gilly used to cover it with his footwork.
So Gilly covers the distance more efficiently, and being an Australian wicket keeper had been the major factor for this.
Adam Gilchrist got the quicker footwork than that of Sanga.
Comparatively, Sanga has got the best diving technique. Infact, It came so naturally to him. His body makes use of his dives without thinking when it is required.
Keeping the medium pacers close to the stumps had become the most exciting element of their keeping. Both were exceptionally good at this term of wicket keeping.
Both had made their mark here, but Gilchrist has done it for Nathan Bracken, Jason Gillespie, and Glenn McGrath, who were comparatively quicker than Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka.
- Both the players had a great relationship with their fellow mates, especially with their fellow spinners Murali and Warne. That had helped them in producing results.
- You can feel their passion flowing through their keeping. They both enjoy the art of keeping to its maximum.
- After crouching for 300 balls in ODI and more than that in Tests, they were able to bring in immense contributions with their bat and have won tons of matches for their team.
- Field adjustments is the department where they have taken off big burdens of their respective captains. They both were entrusted for this job.
- Both the keepers were jovial, which helped raise the enthusiasm in the field.
We are speaking about the two wicket keepers who made everyone believe that the wicket keepers can bat well at the top of the order.
They set the pattern and became the executants in it.
One is the second leading run-scorer in ODI and the first wicketkeeper to go past the 10000 runs in Tests.
And the other was the match-winner for Australia with aggressive batting and ended up scoring a remarkable century in the final of ICC World cup 2007.
The irreplaceable match winners!
They both have been aesthetics in both the departments they got involved in and their contribution to their team is well ahead of anything other wicketkeepers could make.
To sum up with the comparison,
Adam Gilchrist is the better wicketkeeper, while Kumar Sangakkara is the better wicket keeper- batsman.
Cricketer. Budding Writer. Blogs at CricIndeed.com