Older generations seem to rate Tallon very highly. They say you never heard the ball hit his gloves because his actions were so supple and clean. Likewise Knott is rated very highly as a keeper, particularly for his work to Underwood on some ordinary pitches. Engineer is spoken of very highly as well, and he kept to a lot of spinners on Indian pitches, which I imagine is a tough task. Bert Oldfield has a very large amount of stumpings, and is also regarded as a fine craftsman. Godfrey Evans was renowned for keeping up to the stumps to Bedser and making many stumpings from his medium fast bowling.
I never saw those guys, but the best keeper I saw was Healy. Healy was exceptional to pace and spin, and set a very high standard in what became a great fielding side.
There is an opinion that Gilchrist wasn't a great keeper. I dispute this. I don't think he was as graceful as some others, but I think he was very effective. I didn't see a heap of Boucher, but I don't think he was ever really tested keeping to a great spinner as some others were. He was certainly effective to high quality pace bowling. Similar to Dujon, very athletic keeper when standing back, but not tested extensively up at the stumps.
Keep Your Feet on The Ground,Keep Reaching for The Stars!
John Alexander Maclean
John McLean was a staunch servant of Queensland cricket, leading them with distinction for much of the 1970s. A sturdy but surprisingly agile wicketkeeper, and a limited, albeit solid, batsman, McLean was considered to be a close rival to Rod Marsh for the Australian No. 1 slot, touring New Zealand with Australia in 1969-70. But in 1978-79 he was drafted into an Australian side decimated by defections to World Series Cricket, even though he was past his best. His keeping was dependable, but his batting limitations were exposed by England's spinners.
Martin Williamson April 2004
John Maclean | Cricket Players and Officials | ESPN Cricinfo
1. Len Hutton - 2. Sunil Gavaskar - 3. Don Bradman - 4. Viv Richards - 5. Jacques Kallis - 6. Garry Sobers - 7. Adam Gilchrist - 8. Richard Hadlee - 9. Shane Warne - 10. Malcolm Marshall - 11. Sydney Barnes
The number seven slot is a very important batting position for any line up and while you would want a quality keeper, you don't want to give up too much with the bat either. The two gentlemen named gives us the best of both worlds with out loosing quality with the gloves. One dowsn't achieve the career number that Gilly did with out being a geat gloveman, especially considering the bowlers he kept to, Warne, Mcgill, Lee ect.
Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2
Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4
Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Cameron+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2
Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3
Opportunity cost. By selecting say, Tallon ahead of Gilchrist, you lose ~30 runs but gain some wicketkeeping ability. By selecting Gilchrist, the converse is true.
Given wicketkeeping is impossible to analyse by statistics, but rather intuition and through player, official and fan accounts, the balance may be slightly skewed towards runs. By that I mean in the event of two wicketkeepers, and with very little evidence suggesting a large differential in wicketkeeping ability (say, Godfrey Evans vs Alan Knott; or Tallon vs Gilchrist), the selector leans towards the better batsman.
Gilchrist probably isn't an ideal example, since his average is so far ahead of anyone else's, and his wicketkeeping was pretty damn good overall (IMO, very little would separate him from Tallon in realistic terms - Gilchrist rarely dropped anything off ATG bowlers like McGrath and Warne). However, I think it is a no-brainer in the end; for a small differential in wicketkeeping ability, you get three times the Test batsman compared to Tallon.
The thing is, how can we categorically state that Tallon was that far superior with the gloves to Gilchrist? We can't - just like I can't categorically prove Larwood > all, or that Bradman truly was twice the batsman of anyone else in existence. We take estimations, we use the evidence available, we make judgements, we come to our own conclusions. Mine is that Gilchrist's batting (+30 runs an innings compared to Tallon) compensates for the slight drop off in wicketkeeping skill you get with him. And, I like to think, this is the mainstream view most hold; Gilchrist's batting was that exceptional that you accept slightly inferior wicketkeeping.
And ****, by slightly inferior we're still talking about fantastic glovework. He wasn't Kamran bloody Akmal behind the sticks.
And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW
Yeah we don't crap in the first world; most of us would actually have no idea what that was emanating from Ajmal's backside. Why isn't it roses and rainbows like what happens here? PEWS's retort to Ganeshran on Daemon's picture depicting Ajmal's excreta
I'd never sacrifice a catch or stumping for a few extra runs myself (let's not forget Gilchrist was a little bit of a hit-and-miss type, either)
Onto your other point now. Walcott only averaged 40 while taking the gloves - which, incidentally, is roughly the same as Sangakkara (only Sanga can't be considered nearly as good a wicketkeeper as Walcott or Gilchrist) and Gilchrist in his later, comparatively worse years.
And Gilchrist, at the start of his career especially, was consistent. Inconsistent batsmen do not average 47. He had a gun period from 1999-2005 with the bat, then became comparatively inconsistent thereafter. From his debut to the end of 2004, he averaged 51. With the gloves, that is 11 points higher than Sanga or Walcott's career stats. From 2005-2008, he was at 39.85-ish, which is on par with their career stats.
Its not all about batting; nor all about glovework. In my mind, Gilchrist is the best combination for a World XI when his entire package is taken into account.
You severly underrate Gilly's keeping. The guy was an excellent keeper and the best combination of the 2 skills, and as you can see from my sig in what order I rate the rest. Lindsay is up there as well.
Tough on Sangakkara seeing as though he's ripened and hit his prime in recent times - I would imagine it would be much higher even if he'd kept the gloves, but that is pure speculation. I'll always disagree on my childhood hero being the best all-round gloveman though. I have to take the stumper over the run-getter every time. Also, I am surprised you don't value pure wicketkeeping as highly as some seeing as you're a wicketkeeper by the way!
Larwood just looks so out of place in an ATG XI for me.
Yeah, he's way overrated due to bodyline. If it hadn't taken place, he wouldn't be near ATXI discussions.
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Disclaimer: I am a biased South African. Anything I say is likely to have something in it that ultimately favours the Proteas.
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