People have always considered the batting skills of wicketkeepers, it'd have been plain stupid not to. And since the West Indies pace barrage in the early-1980s having a wicketkeeper who could not bat at all became untenable. Bob Taylor was the last genuine non-batsman who kept wicket regularly in Test-cricket.
The trend grew gradually stronger - in the early-1990s it was still acceptible merely to have a wicketkeeper who batted a bit; since the mid-1990s it's pretty much become a must for it to be a wicketkeeper-batsman. But a batsman-wicketkeeper will always be a genuine luxury, and those who pick wicketkeepers who cannot keep to the requistite standard are asking for trouble and will find it. The trend of picking the likes of Deep Dasgupta, Parthiv Patel, Geraint Jones, Matthew Prior, Kamran Akmal, etc. (none of whom are Test-class batsmen or even close to anyway) will cease before long, with any luck.
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Slater was the classic case (Vaughan, Younis Khan and Jayawardene are a few others) that being a boundary-reliant strokeplayer (even at the top of the order) won't work in ODIs. In that form, you simply have to be good at picking the gaps.
Matthew Hayden only very late in his ODI career picked that up and went from wholly average ODI player to very good one.
Richie Benaud was the first leggie to bowl around the wicket into the footmarks wasn't he? That changed how spinners bowled
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