AT A time when the average age of Australian fast bowlers is around 30, Jason Gillespie, 32, can’t be described as too old. But he seems to have happened too long ago. One of the finest fast bowlers of his generation for a brief period, ‘Dizzy’ says he’s almost over and out.
Besieged by injuries that checked his progress even when he was a regular part of the Aussie artillery, Gillespie recently made his way back to the South Australia team and will also turn out for Glamorgan in the English County Championship. In a chat with HT, Gillespie said he wasn’t looking too far ahead. Excerpts:
How does the present and future of Australian fast bowling look like?
The present is in very good hands with Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark doing a fantastic job. Nathan Bracken is in the wings, doing well in one form of the game and there are some good, young guys bowling very well. The future looks good.
Do you harbour realistic hopes of coming back?
You always want to play for Australia. But realistically, I find myself well behind in the line at the moment. I am back playing for South Australia and looking forward to playing in England. I’m not thinking beyond that at this point in time.
Does it feel odd about not playing a Test after scoring a double (against Bangladesh in 2006) and being named Man-of-the-Series?
It’s a good trivia question, who scored a double hundred and didn’t play after that! I wasn’t expecting to play that series and did so because quite a few players were out injured. There was a long gap after that and those out were back by the time the next series took place.
Has the Indian pace attack surprised you on this tour?
Not at all, and I am not talking just about the current lot. I always thought they had some good bowlers who were not as successful at home because the conditions there didn’t suit them. If you see, they have done reasonably well whenever they’ve played in Australia, England, New Zealand or South Africa. It’s been no different this time. We’ve seen how well Sreesanth swings the ball or how good a pace Ishant Sharma can work up.
What’s your view on the generation of Indian batsmen on their way out? How big was it to win in India in 2004 after having watched them snatch the series in 2001?
That was an awesome lot! It was a fantastic challenge to bowl against them. I mean, not the runs that they scored off us, but the hard work we had to do. Without a doubt the toughest thing in world cricket is to beat India in India and it’s mainly because of these players. So beating them in 2004 was a highlight of my career, not just mine but of all those in that Australian side.
Is Ashes 2005 something you would want to wipe off from your career record book?
It was a bad series for us and for me. We were outplayed and there are no excuses. England played better than us, planned better and executed them better. It didn’t get any better for me after that but at the end of the day, I think I didn’t do enough to be selected. That’s how it goes and you have to move on with it.
Looking back at my career, I think I would like to be remembered as someone who worked as hard as he could to put his team in a good position.