In 2020, South Africa could probably field a strong playing XI, using three or four wicketkeepers as specialist batsmen.
As spoilt for choice as South Africa are for keepers at the moment with Heinrich Klaasen, Kyle Verreynne and others, there have been occasions when a specialist gloveman was not available for an ODI. All three ODIs in which South Africa deployed a part-time wicketkeeper were on foreign soil.
- Gary Kirsten vs India, Mumbai, December 1996 (1 catch, 1 stumping)
The one-off ODI came after a three-match Test series and was something of an afterthought for the tourists. Dave Richardson was the wicketkeeper for the Test series, but Kirsten stood in for him for the sole ODI.
Kirsten did an admirable job with the gloves, claiming two dismissals – including the stumping of Sachin Tendulkar. He allowed a single bye, but considering he kept wicket to four spinners in a mad cauldron of a stadium, his performance gets a passing grade.
- Andrew Hall vs Australia, Melbourne, August 2000 (0 catches, 0 stumpings)
Played under a roof at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, the decider of the three-match ‘indoor’ series saw South Africa forced to use Hall as a wicketkeeper.
Hall, usually a seam-bowling all-rounder and lower-order batsman, was promoted to open as an experiment during the series and chosen to deputise for Mark Boucher.
He didn’t notch a dismissal, but after the match, earned the praise of skipper Shaun Pollock for his willingness to do a job for the team.
- Boeta Dippenaar vs Sri Lanka, Tangier, August 2002 (2 catches, 0 stumpings)
Dippenaar, an occasional keeper on the domestic scene, was asked to take the gloves for the Proteas in the unusual setting of Tangier, Morocco.
He completed a brace of routine catches to dismiss Sri Lanka openers Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya and did not let any byes through.
South Africa lost the match, though, and Boucher returned for the next game.
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