Adam Craig Gilchrist
November 14, 1971, Bellingen, New South Wales
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Going in first or seventh, wearing whites or coloureds, Adam Gilchrist was the symbolic heart of 2000s Australia's steamrolling agenda and the most exhilarating cricketer of the modern age. He was simultaneously a cheerful throwback to more innocent times, a flap-eared country boy who walked when given not out in a World Cup semi-final, and one who swatted his second ball for six while sitting on a Test pair.
"Just hit the ball," is how he once described his philosophy on batting, and he seldom strayed from it. Employing a high-on-the-handle grip, Gilchrist poked good balls into gaps and throttled most others, invariably with head straight, wrists soft and balance sublime. Only at the death did he jettison the textbook, whirling his bat like a hammer-thrower. Still he managed to score at a tempo - 81 per 100 balls in Tests, 96 in ODIs - that made Viv Richards and Gilbert Jessop look like sticks in the-mud.
Indeed it was arguably Gilchrist's belated Test arrival that turned Australia from powerful to overpowering. He bludgeoned 81 on debut, pouched five catches and made a stumping, and barely paused for breath until he stepped down in 2008. Only in the closing stages of an untouchable career did his appetite slow - he was troubled by Andrew Flintoff's around-the-wicket angle in 2005 and found the flaw difficult to overcome - and his match-turning 144 against Bangladesh in April 2006 was his first century in 16 Tests.
The 2006-07 Ashes series was literally hit and miss for Gilchrist, with three single-figure scores, two fifties, and his most brutal hundred. At home his one-day form was subdued, but the game's biggest competition - and it's most important match - brought out his highest standards. He stole the 2007 World Cup final from Sri Lanka with 149 off 104 balls, slamming 13 fours and eight sixes, and added to his 54 and 57 from his previous two finals. Using a tip - advice that should have been patented instantly - from his batting coach Bob Meuleman, he put a squash ball in his glove to allow him to hit straighter in that 2007 game.
In Tests, three Gilchrist innings rank among the most amazing by Australians: his death-defying unbeaten 149 against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999 when all seemed lost, his savage and emotional 204 not out against South Africa in Johannesburg two years on, and his 57-delivery Ashes century in Perth. His 472 dismissals in ODIs are the most by an Australian keeper.
Standing in for Ricky Ponting as captain, Gilchrist crossed the final frontier, leading Australia to their first series win in India for 35 years in 2004-05. As a wicketkeeper he lacked Rod Marsh's acrobatics and Ian Healy's finesse, but if he clutched few screamers, he dropped even fewer sitters, although one easy offering in Adelaide in 2008 convinced him it was time to go. During that match against India he briefly became the leading keeper in Test cricket by overtaking Mark Boucher, then the following day announced his retirement from international cricket.
Batting & Fielding
Explore Statsguru Analysis
List A Matches
|Gilchrist XI vs Ponting XI||17||0c/0s||09-Feb-2020||Melbourne||OTHERT20|
|Sagittarius vs Arabians||12||0c/0s||11-Feb-2016||Dubai (DSC)||OTHERT20|
|Sagittarius vs Leo Lions||33||1c/0s||06-Feb-2016||Sharjah||OTHERT20|
|Sagittarius vs Arabians||0||0c/0s||05-Feb-2016||Sharjah||OTHERT20|
|Sagittarius vs Libra Lngds||38||1c/1s||04-Feb-2016||Sharjah||OTHERT20|