The independent voice of cricket

India v England 2024

Adam Gilchrist: Ben Foakes is the best wicketkeeper to spin bowling that I’ve ever seen

Adam Gilchrist labels Ben Foakes as best keeper he's ever seen to spin bowling
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Adam Gilchrist has heaped praise on Ben Foakes for his stellar performance behind the stumps in India, labelling him the best wicketkeeper he’s ever seen to spin bowling.

Speaking on his podcast, Club Prairie Fire, Gilchrist said: “I’m going to double down and say Ben Foakes is the best wicketkeeper to spin bowling in particular that I’ve ever seen. And again, I haven’t seen enough of him standing back to the stumps because, for some reason, they don’t want to play him if there’s not going to be a lot of spin. What he did in that second Test match was quite beyond belief. The catches he was taking, under edges off spin bowlers, he’s absolute pure class.”

His comments come after another superb performance from Foakes in the Rajkot Test match. On the morning of day two as England looked to bring an end to India’s first innings, Foakes took a blink and you’ll miss it catch to end Dhruv Jurel’s debut knock. Jurel was looking to work a ball from Rehan Ahmed into the off side, but got a top edge on it instead. Foakes was standing up to the stumps to the off spinner and safely pouched the ball despite a significant deviation off the bat.

The catch was similar to another Foakes had taken off an under edge in the second Test match. On that occasion, Shreyas Iyer was looking to powerfully hit a ball from Tom Hartley into the off side, but Foakes was able to snaffle the catch off his under edge with only a split second to react to the change in trajectory.

Asked if taking a catch off an under edge while standing up to the stumps was the hardest catch to take for a wicketkeeper, Gilchrist said: “It shouldn’t be but it’s amazing how hard you can make it look if you’re not quite as skillful as someone like Foakes. That is the hardest catch I would have thought. You’re meant to be rising with the ball and then all of a sudden you’re going back down. But his hands are just butter.”

Foakes was brought back into the England Test side for the first match of the series against India after a near-year long absence. He was dropped after England’s series in New Zealand in early 2023 when Jonny Bairstow came back from injury. Harry Brook was expected to play in the series against India but had to fly home before the first game for personal reasons, opening up a spot for Foakes to come back in.

Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99