Ashes / Features

Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day

Gilchrist counters the round-the-wicket attack

How Adam Gilchrist coped with England's plan to bowl from round the wicket

George Binoy

December 4, 2006

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Adam Gilchrist's wagon-wheel during his 64 off 79 balls. Enlarged graphic © Hawk-Eye
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England needed to skittle Australia cheaply on the fourth day to have a chance of winning this Test, but Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist, both players who had a torrid time in the 2005 Ashes, bore the responsibility of avoiding the follow-on. Though Clarke went on to score a crucial hundred, it was Gilchrist who seized the initial momentum on the fourth morning.

His 64 off 79 balls was his first fifty-plus score against England since his 133 at Sydney in January 2003. In the 2005 Ashes, England's bowlers had sorted him out by bowling round the wicket. Before this series started, Gilchrist said that he was prepared to counter this line of attack, but in the first Test he was trapped lbw, playing down the wrong line to one that was angled into him. At Adelaide, Hoggard and co. adopted the same line of attack, bowling 57 balls to Gilchrist from round the wicket while Ashley Giles accounted for 16 of the 22 balls he faced from over the wicket. Blame it on a docile pitch and the dearth of movement in the air, but the ploy did not work at Adelaide.



The pitch-map of the balls bowled by england's fast bowlers to Gilchrist. Enlarged graphic © Hawk-Eye
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While the bowlers pitched 47 balls on a good length to Gilchrist, he scored at nearly 4 runs per over off them. He hammered 22 runs off ten full-pitched deliveries and was quietest against short-of-a-length bowling - 11 off 22 balls. It was just the kind of track he needed to regain some sort of form and even the 40 balls that were of a good line and length leaked 26 runs. Gilchrist's in-control factor was also impressive - 82.27% (65 out of 79 balls).

Cook caught out?

Alastair Cook has been caught by the wicketkeeper or the first slip in three out of four innings in this series. The balls have been fairly similar, pitching on a good length, moving away from the left-hander, inducing him to have a poke at it and taking the edge. Click here for an enlarged graphic of the two balls that dismissed him at Adelaide. They are almost identical.



The balls that dismissed Alastair Cook at Adelaide © Hawk-Eye
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Other stats highlights

39.81 - Shane Warne's strike-rate during his innings of 43. It is his slowest strike-rate for any innings of more than 40 runs.

26 - the number of innings since Michael Clarke scored his last Test century. Today's 124 was his third Test century. He had scored two hundreds and two fifties in his first nine Test innings.

6 - the number of 500-plus scores in the last five Tests at Adelaide, including this one.

7 for 109 - is Hoggard's best figures against Australia and is the second-best performance by an English bowler at Adelaide, after Jack White's 8 for 126 in February 1929.

57.52 - Ashley Giles's bowling average against Australia. This is his ninth Test, and he only has 19 wickets against them

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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