Gilchrist walks, into the sunset

Updated: 04 March 2008 14:00 IST

The illustrious wicketkeeper batsman, rated the greatest of all time, has bid goodbye to international cricket.


Adam Gilchrist, the most dashing wicketkeeper-batsman in the history of the game, bid farewell to international cricket on Tuesday after ending up on the losing side when India beat Australia in the tri-series finals here.

Gilchrist, who led his team to a historic Test series win against India in 2004-05, announced his retirement from international cricket during the Test series against India in January, ending his illustrious career spanning over 12 years.

However, while his Test farewell went fine with Australia clinching it 2-1, the one-day retirement turned out to be disappointing as India won the best-of-three tri-series 2-0.

The 36-year-old, who played 96 Tests, nonetheless finished his career while at the top of the table of the game's leading wicketkeepers by dismissals, with 416 dismissals (379 caught, 37 stumped) in Tests.

He compiled 5570 Test runs for an average of 47.60 and scored 9612 runs in 287 ODIs for an average of 35.89.

Gilchrist, who played some of his most breath-taking knocks against India, will be remembered for being the captain of the team which conquered the 'final frontier' when they beat India at home in 2004-05 for the first time in 35 years.

The Australian vice-captain has scored 17 centuries, maximum by a wicketkeeper. Gilchrist made it to the Australian squad at a relatively advanced age when he replaced Ian Healy in the side. He gradually became one of the key members in the all conquering Australian team and lent depth to the batting order.

Gilchrist's stellar career also includes the second fastest ever century in Test history -- against England in December 2006 in Perth. He reached his hundred in 57 balls, one more than Sir Viv Richards. In the same innings he broke the record for the most runs in an over during an Ashes Test, plundering 24 from Monty Panesar.

He has also scored hundreds against all nine Test opponents and has also hit more sixes than any other batsman in Test history, recording his 100th six during the recent match against Sri Lanka in Hobart in 2007.

Gilchrist has to his credit the feat of claiming 10 dismissals in a Test against New Zealand at Hamilton in 2000, the first Australian to do so and the third 'keeper from any country to capture as many victims in a single Test.

A three-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner, Gilchrist passed 50 in every World Cup final he played, which must be as important an achievement as any other.

In April 2007, Gilchrist lit up Kensington Oval in Barbados with 149 from 104 balls in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka.

He also holds the ODI dismissal record with 454 dismissals in his 277 ODI's (401 caught, 53 stumped).

In Tests, Gilchrist's unbeaten 149 against Pakistan when all seemed lost, his epic 204 against South Africa in Johannesburg and his 57-delivery century against England will be the high points.
Gilchrist was also among the very few batsmen in contemporary cricket who believed in walking without waiting for the umpire's decision.

Topics : Cricket Kings XI Punjab Adam Gilchrist
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