With Glenn McGrath and Michael Kasprowicz, Jason Gillespie sometimes had the Indian batting line-up beg for mercy.
Now with Ahmedabad Rockets in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the man still does what he is best at - make the batsman's life miserable. In an exclusive interview with the Hindustan Times over the phone, Dizzy, as he is called, shared his thoughts on how Ricky Ponting's men will fare in their Indian test.
Has the India-Australia series lost its sheen after the advent of the T20 leagues (ICL and IPL)?
The ICL and IPL, both have big a following and that's fantastic. There is plenty of cricket happening all around but the Border-Gavaskar continues to attract a lot of people. The excitement which surrounds Tests is completely different from that of a T20 match and is always stronger.
Do you think the current crop of pacers have it in them to perform in India?
Glenn (McGrath), Michael (Kasprowicz) and I did well the last time on tour, but this time there is a completely different set. I think it would be a challenge for them. But, I still feel these guys can do a lot better than what we did in the last tour of India (2004). Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson can deliver and since none of them have played a Test here, it would be a fantastic opportunity to prove themselves.
Do you think Australia is short on experienced spinners?
The two spinners - Jason Krejza and Cameron White -would be making their debut but I think they would be looking forward to this opportunity. This is the biggest platform they can get - playing against India at their home is just what they would want to start off with.
Do you think it was correct for the Rajasthan Cricket Association, to provide high-end training facilities to the touring Australian side?
It was just great! They provided the team with the best facilities. We should return the favour to India. If all touring sides get good facilities in host countries, it would be good for world cricket.
Will the Aussies benefit from Greg Chappell's presence as consultant?
Definitely. He has coached India and knows about their strengths and weakness. So the team can gain a lot from his inputs.
Do you feel Andrew Symonds will be missed?
Yes, he would be, but then another player will fill up his place in the squad.
How would you rate the Indian side?
They are a good side and they are playing at home which makes them all the more tough to beat. The Aussies will have to work very hard if they want to win this series.
If you get a choice between ICL and IPL, what would you choose?
This is my second season here, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. I am glad that I chose ICL. No doubt, the league has come under a lot of flak, from ICC, BCCI and other boards, but I think it's all madness. Hope they (cricket administrators) change their mindset and allow player to play freely and not ban them.
The BCCI has it written in their charter to help young Indian players, but they are busy imposing a ban on them. It certainly isn't going to help cricket.