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Australia v Pakistan, Group F, Johannesburg

Twenty20 cricket yet to convince Gilchrist

Edward Craig

September 18, 2007

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Adam Gilchrist does not think highly of Twenty20 but is still aiming to lift the trophy © Getty Images

Adam Gilchrist, Australia's stand-in captain, admitted that Twenty20 was not a game he had taken to whole-heartedly following the defeat to Pakistan. When asked what he thought of the format, he was faint with his praise: "Er, yeh, yeh. It's um... well. The more I play it, I am starting to, not so much like it as a player, but love watching it."

Before the tournament started, Gilchrist had said that it was good to play some international cricket that was not so serious. When Australia lost to Zimbabwe, Ricky Ponting demanded respect and the Australian machine had looked as well oiled as ever - until facing Pakistan.

"I am being more and more sold on why the public is so taken by this format. One over can really change a game, and in a tight game it is crucial. I am still not totally convinced that over the short term, the skills get to come through as much as they do in the longer formats, so that is evening the games up which is a great spectacle, but we'll see over time. We're all still learning with it."

He admits that Australia's preparation, at least, was not as serious as it might have been: "[That we haven't hit the stumps when fielding] probably shows we have not put in the time. We could have cut our break short by a month and come here peaking, but to be honest, at the time when we made those decisions we didn't see it as a priority leading into a big run of cricket.

"We are taking it seriously. I am not sure what the perception is but we are. Now that we are here, we definitely want to win, and we are doing everything we can. We are not shirking this as something we are not caring about."

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

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Players/Officials: Adam Gilchrist
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
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India won by 5 runs
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