Gilly the golden boy bows out of Tests
THE golden boy of Australia’s golden era bowed out of Test cricket yesterday, and already the game doesn’t feel as bright.
Adam Gilchrist played out his 96th and final Test in the drawn match against India at Adelaide Oval.
The superstar wicketkeeper-batsman, who revolutionised the game with his skills, focus on entertainment and integrity, embraced his teammates, opponents, umpires and wife Mel and their children before admitting to mixed emotions.
“It’s joy, sadness, everything. Every emotion you could imagine I suppose,” he said.
“To walk away from something you’ve loved so much, it was a big decision, but I know it’s the right one, so it’s happiness and really enjoying the moment, what we’ve all been a part of, what I’ve been lucky to be a part of.”
Gilchrist played an enormous role in Australia’s decade of dominance under Steve Waugh and now Ricky Ponting, as a great gloveman and a middle-order batsman who could change matches in a session.
He was a trailblazer in the modern era by walking and not waiting for umpires to give him out and was the acting captain of the side which famously won in India in 2004 in Ponting’s absence.
Gilchrist ended his Test career with 5570 runs including 17 centuries and his two catches yesterday took his world-record tally to 416 dismissals and countless moments of superb entertainment.
He will now be celebrated across the country during the limited-overs stage of the summer which starts with Friday’s Twenty20 match against India at the MCG.
This match was also surely be the last in this country for India’s superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
But the seniors did not have the happiest of days collectively.
Dravid retired hurt with a fractured finger, Tendulkar was run out, and Ganguly was out to another close catch.
Gilchrist was given several privileges on his final day, as his teammates formed a guard of honour before play began, he led the side during the middle session while Ponting was off having a sore back treated and he walked out on the ground alone to start the final session.
Once the match was over he then walked up the race alone, as Test cricket bid another champion farewell. – AAP