The ball hisses past the bat and rears up much like a cobra raising its hood. And you’ve got to be quick… in fact, very fast.

You need to be an artist with an incredible skill set to stand up to spinners in the sub-continent and do the job with distinction.  You need to rise with the ball, have soft hands to allow the turning ball to ease into your gloves. You only have a split second to snaffle the edges or adjust to the extra bounce, and a lot of times you are blindsided by the batsman. Catches go down in a millisecond and a match changes course. It’s the job of a specialist.

One of the finest wicket-keepers of our times, England’s Jack Russell rates Ben Foakes the best ‘keeper in the world while standing up. India’s Wriddhiman Saha would disagree, but it still is high praise for the 27-year-old Foakes.


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