Australia's legendary wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist turns a year older on Thursday (November 14, 2019). Hailing from New South Wales, the talismanic former cricketer turns 48 this year. Gilchrist is arguably the best wicket-keeper to have graced the game as he was a dynamic left-handed batsman and his glovework was second to none. The veteran had the ability to turned the game on its head and thus was a vital cog of the Australian team that ruled World cricket. In fact, he was the part of Australia's squad which lifted the World Cup in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Adam Gilchrist Reveals Harbhajan Singh Toughest Bowlers He Faced in Cricket Career.
Before Gilchrist's debut, the primary duty of a wicket-keeper was considered to just come good with the gloves and his runs were regarded was considered as incentives. However, the southpaw made his debut in October 1996 and revolutionized the role of a gloveman. He proved his mettle both in front and behind the stumps and set a new benchmark for all the wicket-keepers around the world. In his illustrious career, the southpaw played 96 Tests, 287 ODIs and 13 T20Is in which he aggregated 5570, 9619 and 272 runs respectively. Meanwhile, let's look at five of the best knocks played by the Aussie star. Adam Gilchrist Advises Rishabh Pant Not to Copy MS Dhoni but Be the Version of Himself.
149 Against Sri Lanka in Barbados
Gilchrist's mayhem in the 2007 World Cup final might still be giving nightmares to the Sri Lankan bowlers as the opener rained fours and sixes to all the parts of the ground. The likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, and Lasith Malinga looked completely ineffective against him as he scored a magnificent hundred and guided his team to a score of 281 in the first innings. In reply, the Lankans could only manage 215 runs and the Men in Yellow lifted their third consecutive World Cup title.
172 Against Zimbabwe in Hobart
The fourth ODI of VB tri-series 2006 witnessed a Gilchrist special as the southpaw played a sensational knock and the Zimbabwe bowlers looked completely clueless against him. He attacked the bowlers from the word go and brought up his highest ODI score. His knock helped Australia to post 344 in the first innings. In reply, the visitors never looked in the contest and lost the clash by 148 runs.
149* Against Pakistan in Hobart
This knock by the wicket-keeper batsman will go as one of the best batting performances in the last innings of the match. In the second Test of Pakistan's 1999-2000 Tour of Australia, the hosts required 369 runs to win the match. The target was already a massive one and bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar made the task even more difficult. However, a young Gilchrist, who came in when his team was reeling at 126/6, wasn't intimidated by these speedsters at all. He went on to score 149 runs off mere 163 deliveries and helped his register a five-wicket win.
152 Against England in Birmingham
The left-handed batsman from down under was all over the Englishmen in the opening Test of Ashes 2001. Batting first, the hosts posted just 294 runs and pitch seemed pace friendly. However, Gilly, who came to bat at number seven in the second innings, was in no mood to respect the conditions and he demolished the host's bowlers with a jaw-dropping knock. He mustered 152 runs off 143 deliveries as Aussies posted 576 runs. The hosts were bundled out for 164 in their second innings and lost the match by an innings and 118 runs.
204* Against South Africa in Johannesburg
Last but not least, let's put emphasis on Gilchrist's highest Test score. The rampage took place in the first Test of Australia's 2002 Tour of South Africa. The Aussies decided to bat first after winning the toss and their decision proved to be impeccable as Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn registered centuries. However, the real began when Gilchrist came out to bat at seven and played a fabulous knock. The talisman scored runs for fun and notched up his maiden Test double-ton. Riding on his brilliant effort, the visitors posted 652 runs which proved to a jolting task for the proteas as the lost the match by an innings and 360 runs.
Along with his blitz with the bat and gloves, the former was also a great ambassador of the spirit of the game. Who can forget his famous walk-off in the 2003 World Cup Semi-final when he was not even adjudged out. The charismatic cricketer also proved his mettle as a leader when Deccan Chargers (now Sunrisers Hyderabad) to the title in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2009.