Adam Gilchrist: The great entertainer

Updated on Mar 21, 2003 11:00 AM IST

Player of the Week IV

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PTI | ByManish Verma, New Delhi

This cricketer reminds us of why we love the sport of cricket. This man has made it sure that the knees tremble and hearts beat faster even today. He can destroy any attack in the world.

He has all the shorts in his repertoire. When he gets going, Gilchrist scores off even good balls, as so many great batsmen do, reaches 50 to 100 before one notices it; he makes field placements redundant. He follows a very simple principle— to assert the natural dominance of bat over ball. Where most other players will work on the old-fashioned method of carefully playing themselves in, he’ll jump off the track from the first ball.

At Supersport Park against Sri Lanka in their Super Six clash, the Australian wicket-keeper batsmen smashed Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground during his murderous 99. They bowled him a good-length ball and he rocked back and played a pull over mid—wicket. Pitched it up and he’ drove them through covers or danced down the wicket and hit it straight over mid-on or mid-off. His cross-batted flat sixes off Russell Arnold and Aravinda de Silva were a spectator’s delight.

Gilchrist's timing was effortlessly and destructively sweet from the very first of the 88 balls he faced, smashing 14 fours and two towering sixes. He was agonizingly run out in the 30th over by Chaminda Vaas’s direct hit, that saw him 22cms short of his crease.

The normally easy-going Australian vice-captain swung his bat hard at the turf twice as he began walking back to the pavilion, ripped his gloves off, kept shouting at himself and then disappeared back in the pavilion. But by that time, he had ensured that Aussies will post a score in excess of 300 and the Lankan batsmen later, never came anywhere near to it.

Let’s all honor him.

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