Devon Thomas will wicket-keep for the West Indies during the tour of Australia. The role has been a difficult one to fill since Ridley Jacobs retired in the early 2000’s. Selectors persisted with Denesh Ramdin for a while, but eventually his inconsistent form cost him his spot in the team. Thomas will be hoping for a more prolonged career than his predecessor.
The wicketkeeper started his international career at the under-19 World Cup alongside a number of his current teammates. His exposure to professional cricket helped him greatly during his first-class career, where as a young batsman, he excelled with the bat. He has already passed the 1,000 run mark in what is still a flourishing career.
The contract dispute of 2009 allowed Thomas to make his ODI debut against Bangladesh. Despite donning the gloves for Bangladesh’s run chase, Thomas was called upon to bowl after the Windies mismanaged their bowling options. His seven ball bowling career ranks amongst the best of all time, with Thomas taking 2/11. With a strike rate of 3.5, he might just be the greatest bowler ever. Alas, he has not bowled a ball since, and probably never will. Still, he is one of only a handful of wicketkeepers to have taken a wicket in international cricket.
Thomas has featured in 16 ODI matches, and became a permanent member of the squad during the 2012 season. His glove work has been sound, especially to the bowling of Sunil Narine. His 23 dismissals thus far indicate he is a more than proficient keeper. His batting hasn’t been spectacular, but in a team full of big-hitters, it is his job to simply rotate the strike. His 25 off 31 against Bangladesh last year shows he can score when needed, but a career strike rate of just 62 won’t lead to any IPL contracts down the track.
In his two T20 international matches, Thomas is yet to score a run. Hopefully in Australia, he gets a chance to face his first ball. He also hasn’t taken a catch or a stumping, but he does boast one run out against Bangladesh back in 2009.