Australia v Bangladesh, NatWest Series, Canterbury July 1, 2005

Ponting surprised by Gilchrist the walker

Cricinfo staff

Adam Gilchrist walks back and Tapash Baisya celebrates a bonus wicket © Getty Images

Adam Gilchrist has made it a habit of walking without waiting for the umpire's decision when he feels he's out, but his latest act to dismiss himself in the match against Bangladesh on Thursday surprised his captain, the umpire, and the commentators. Gilchrist thought he had edged one from Tapash Baisya to Khaled Mahmud at first slip, but replays clearly showed that the ball had hit the rough outside the off stump and ballooned to first slip, missing the edge of the bat by a long way.

"I was at the non-striker's end and I didn't think he hit it either. I was actually going to yell out to him," Ricky Ponting told reporters after the match, which Australia won by six wickets. "I turned to the umpire straight away and looked at him and we both had strange looks on our faces but Adam thought he had hit it.

"He hit the ground behind where the ball pitched but said he felt something on the edge of his bat. He turned around and saw it balloon to first slip and put two and two together and thought that he was out caught at first slip so he trudged off. The replays have shown he missed it by quite a distance."

Gilchrist's tendency to walk has raised a debate in the cricketing world, especially in Australia, a country traditionally known for their hard-nosed approach to the game. Ponting, however, insisted that he had no problems with Gilchrist's policy. "He has made it pretty clear throughout his career that if he thinks he has hit a ball he is going to walk and that is exactly what happened today. It was probably as much my fault as anyone's. I saw him take a few steps off. I probably could have intervened but if I had done that, and it [replay] had showed he hit it, then who knows what would have happened."

Ponting indicated that he discussed the incident with Gilchrist after the match. "I spoke to him for 15 to 20 seconds. He was a bit bewildered when he saw the replay."

Meanwhile, Ponting also repeated his stand on the use of technology for catches taken close to the ground. In the past, television replays have often provided inconclusive evidence, and Ponting suggested that the way forward would be for players to take responsibility for those catches. "The reason for it is that I don't want one of those close catches to go to the third umpire. We all know with the technology there is, when it is referred to the third umpire, they are given not out 99% of the time. Hopefully, I'll be able to sit down with Michael Vaughan and have a chat about that."