Gilchrist breaks record to cap stunning debut season
HAMILTON, April 2 AAP - When Adam Gilchrist raced into the Test arena in November with a typically dashing 81, he quickly told journalists it might be nothing more than a bonus.
Gilchrist reminded Australian fans he was selected primarily as a wicketkeeper, and it would be his deeds with the gloves that would bring him most satisfaction.
His debut Test season has been astonishing - a blazing century, five half-centuries in just 13 innings but, best of all, 41 dismissals.
Ten of them came in a rush today when Gilchrist stepped on to a platform never reached by any of the famous wicketkeepers to stand before him.
He set a new Australian record for dismissals in a match, making his 10th when he caught a simple spooned catch from New Zealand No. nine Paul Wiseman off the bowling of Brett Lee in the third Test in Hamilton.
Wiseman made a habit of participating in notable Australian occasions in this series, giving Shane Warne his national record 356th Test wicket in Auckland last month.
His catch to Gilchrist today helped the West Australian surpass the previous record of nine dismissals, held by Gil Langley, Rod Marsh and Ian Healy.
Langley took eight catches and a stumping at Lord's in 1956-57, long before Gilchrist was born.
Marsh's best match effort came against England at the Gabba late in 1982, while Healy took nine catches also against the English in Brisbane in November 1994.
Many thought Healy should have been given a farewell season this summer after becoming Test cricket's most successful 'keeper, but even his greatest fans must now approve of Gilchrist's transition.
His outstanding legside catch standing up to off-spinner Colin Miller yesterday was one of his best of the summer, but it did not include the diving, grass-stained efforts highlighted on the television news.
Gilchrist has done that before and now he's got even more moments to recall in one of the best debut summers in recent Australian cricket history.