Sunday, January 27, 2008

G'bye Gilly

So Adam Gilchrist is heading out the door. I developed an instant liking for Gilly, as I would any cricketer that could snatch a Pakistani victory away from them (yup, Hobart 1999 is what I'm thinking of). But over the years, there was much more to like. I've always associated Australian batsmen with the hook and the pull, and Gilly was a fine exponent of those shots. He seemed to hold the bat slightly higher up on the handle than did most other test batsmen, and this gave his batting a slightly willowy touch as his entire body seemed to be more extended than usual when he launched into those horizontal bat shots. I never paid that much attention to his wicketkeeping; for some reason, I took it for granted that with a bowling attack like Australia's he would pick up heaps of catches, and I'd also become a bit numb to the diving-wicketkeeper-catch. So my most vivid impressions are that of Gilchrist the devastating test batsman. I once saw him make 87 against the West Indies at Sydney in January 2001. He came in at the fall of Ponting's wicket, and immediately slashed hard off the very first delivery, which screamed away to the fence through the gully-point region. And he was off and running. And that pretty much summed up the way he batted - always off and running, and if you didn't watch out, he'd quickly swamp you as many a bowling attack found out over the years (like for instance, India at Mumbai in the 2001 series). Its a good time for him to retire, but not so good for the Australian team. Its not going to be a given that the late-order will simply blast Australia out of trouble as happened so many times when Gilly was around. And of course, its not good news for fans. Good luck Gilly.


Blogger Jrod said...

Here here.

12:47 AM  

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