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Gilly-edged feat

Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist sets a world record by overtaking Mark Boucher's tally of dismissals. A Mukhopadhyay reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 26, 2008 02:16 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

In an engrossing Test series full of remarkable moments on personal and collective fronts, it was Adam Gilchrist who achieved something most memorable from an individual's point of view.

The peerless and ageless wicketkeeper on Friday became the most successful man behind the stumps, overtaking Mark Boucher's tally of dismissals to set a world record. He was on 414, one better than the South African, having played 13 Tests less than Boucher's 109.

“I'm thrilled to be the world-record holder. It's a really nice, satisfying achievement. I might have got there a bit quicker if I'd gloved a couple a bit more cleanly. It feels good because it's something you don't set out to achieve because if you do that, you don't get anywhere close to it,” was his modest confession.

When reminded of the role the bowlers played behind his phenomenal run, Gilchrist accepted it whole-heartedly. “I think they've been the best of the best. Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie.. It's been the best journey keeping to these blokes. The relationship and the partnership with them have been great.”

About other secrets of his success, the 36-year-old who started at the age of 29, said: “In a nutshell, it comes down to concentration. Are you switched on for every ball? Very rarely, if ever, can I remember dropping a catch or missing a stumping, and when asking myself whether I was concentrating 100 per cent, have I been able to say yes. I must have had something else on my mind and wandered off.”

Admitting that his performance in the ongoing series had been patchy by the lofty standards he set himself, Gilchrist said that criticism keeps him going. “I've always set very high standards for myself. People have suggested that I'm just a batsman and like Anil Kumble said the other day (in Perth, after claiming his 600th wicket), I've used that as incentive to keep myself motivated.”

Saying that his decision to quit the game wrests entirely on him, Gilchrist added on a lighter vein that Michael Bevan was one bowler he couldn't read. “I understood Warne pretty well, although I still had to get into the right spot, but with Bevan, I was never sure, I doubt whether he himself was.”

There were more questions on his indifferent form in this series and retirement, but Gilchrist maintained that decision was still some distance away. “I am still very much focussed on this game and how I am keeping right now. When I take the call (to quit), I'll let everyone know.”

If cricket needed a crazy diamond to shine on, let 'Gilly' be the one.