Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says it is not too often one sees a look of anguish and uncertainty on Adam Gilchrist’s face, but he saw one Wednesday.
In his column in the Herald Sun, Waugh wrote that the incident occurred after the first major appeal of the day when Stuart Clark struck Wasim Jaffer on the top of his arm guard and the ball deflected down the leg side to be caught by Adam Gilchrist.
“What followed was a fascinating snapshot of life after Sydney for the Australians. They were appealing with great gusto and then suddenly they weren’t.
“In fact they were not sure what to do or how to appeal, an obvious post-script to the scrutiny of the side’s behaviour in the second Test at the SCG,” Waugh wrote.
Waugh wrote that Gilchrist had an anguished look which probably came from the fact that from behind the wicket there is no way he would have known whether the ball had hit the bat or arm guard — yet he was entitled to ask the question.
“You could see the concern on Gilly’s face as the episode played out.” Fans had criticised Gilchrist after the Sydney Test with claims that while he walks when he is dismissed, he appeals for everything without being sure.
“Umpire Asad Rauf should be congratulated on an excellent decision."
Waugh was also impressed with dashing India opener Virender Sehwag and said that he was an interesting performer and a hard man to plan for because his strength is his weakness. Sehwag’s blazing off-side shots are the pistons that keep his game pumping and yet at times he looks so vulnerable trying to play them.
“You get the impression he almost wants the bowlers to think he is suspect outside off-stump and to challenge him there. He played and missed a handful of times and smashed some fine boundaries before Australia got their man after a captivating battle.”
Waugh wonders how India can keep selecting Jaffer if he fails in the second innings. His series returns (38 runs at 7.6) are modest and his half-hearted off side waft, which was caught behind off Brett Lee on Wednesday was not the sort of shot you want to see from your opening batsmen.
“Good teams rely on opening batsmen to have a hard-edged game which seems beyond the reach of Jaffer in his current form.”
Choosing four quicks in a Test XI may be an unconventional move, but it was the right one for the occasion, says Waugh.