Melbourne, Mar.25 (ANI): Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is closing in on a unique record - the stumper to let go of the most byes in cricket.
In his first 15 Tests, Haddin has let through a staggering 179 byes at a rate of 6.2 an innings. This places him third on the all-time list of Australian stumpers at the same point in their careers. Don Tallon, Australia's wicketkeeper in the 1940s, takes the gong with 208 byes in the first 15 of the 21 Tests that he played. At number two is Jack Blackham (1877-94) who let go of 181 byes at 6.5 an innings).
The greater surprise is that Tallon was praised by Wisden for his "wonderful timing behind the stumps and exceptionally fast hands", and he was rated by Don Bradman, Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller as the best they saw.
Having never cracked it for a Test despite being rated by many as the best glove man of his generation, Berry has been known to have forthright views on his craft.
Ever the diplomat, he would say of Haddin only: "I'm sure even he would be disappointed with the standard of his glove work at this early stage of his career", adding that a wicketkeeper should never be judged on catches or stumpings taken, or even byes conceded, but on the chances he misses and the half-chances he creates.
Casting the net (or gloves) wider, India's Dinesh Karthik holds (or perhaps fumbles) the record, having kept wicket in 14 of his 21 Tests and let through 223 byes at 8.3 an innings.
Tallon is fourth, with the man in fifth spot causing Berry to momentarily abandon his discretion. That'll be England's batsman-wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, with 200 byes at 7.7 an innings. "M. J.
Prior is not a wicketkeeper," Berry huffed. "He stands behind the stumps with a set of gloves on." (ANI)