December 19, 2000

Gilchrist hails proudest moment of career

Stand-in Australian captain Adam Gilchrist is a proud man this afternoon after leading his team to a hard-fought five wicket win in the Third Test against West Indies.

Gilchrist was absolutely thrilled with the victory - which gave the Australians a thirteenth Test triumph in succession - and described the series-clinching win in Adelaide as "the proudest moment of my career". Of the events which led up to the home team's success on the fifth and final morning of the match, he said that they made for "the hardest Test I have played in my career".

A visibly delighted Gilchrist also spoke in glowing terms about the never-say-die attitude of a team whose leadership he had assumed for this match in the absence of the injured Steve Waugh.

"The belief was there in the team and it is one of our greatest strengths."

When asked whether there was any tension when he went out to bat with just nineteen runs needed, Gilchirst attested that "it was the most nervous I have been in my career. I just said to myself to try and keep calm and play every ball as I saw it."

The overall experience for Gilchrist over the last five days has been special to him.

"I was extra nervous being captain; it's been a huge honour and a big thrill."

"I learnt so much, it totally opens up your mind," he said, adding that it had been a tremendous eperience.

Asked whether he would feel comfortable about the prospect of filling the captaincy role for a longer period, Gilchrist said that he would never knock it back but argued that "one game won't give a decisive conclusion either way; you can't rule it out or confirm you can do it."

Virtually immediately after the game, Gilchrist spoke to Waugh but revealed that "he was exhausted in the gym; he was in a thirty second break between bike sprints!"

Gilchrist's opposite number, West Indian captain Jimmy Adams, took some solace in his team's performance and was pleased with the general improvement that it had made to its game after heavy defeats in Brisbane and Perth.

"We mucked it up in the second session of yesterday," he said, lamenting the fact that another forty or fifty runs against his side's name would have made the Australian victory target very interesting.

"We thought (a score of) 230 or 260 (could help win it for us)," Adams said ruefully after the match. A target of only 130 to defend, he said, was "a big ask for the bowlers".

When quizzed on the quality of the Adelaide Oval pitch, Adams stated that it was a fair surface over the opening three days of the match.

"It played better than it looked. I thought it would have played worse than it did," he said.

On Man-of-the-Match Colin Miller, Adams praised the off-spinner, saying he "is a very good international cricketer" and that all international players like Miller bring something to the game.