The squash buckling Aussie opener Adam Gilchrist was one of the best wicket keeper batsman of his time and his aggressive batting changed the dynamics of game and the role of wicket keeper batsmen.
Adam Gilchrist who was better known as Gilly was born today in 1971. His flamboyance at the top in ODIs and in the lower middle order in tests was one of the key reasons why Australia dominated world cricket for such a long time. Gilly played in 96 tests and 287 ODIs as well as 13 T20 internationals. He amassed over 550 runs in tests and 9000 plus runs in ODIs for Australia. The belligerent batsman had strike rate of 82 in tests, which during those days was significantly high for test matches, and almost 97 in one day internationals.
He led Australia to a World Cup triumph in West Indies through his exceptional batting. He played a magnificent knock 149 runs off only 129 balls and batted Sri Lanka out of the game. He was also awarded the man of the final award for his match winning performance. During his ODI career span of 14 years he won three World Cup titles with Australia.
He holds the record for the second fast test century which he scored of just 57 balls against England at Perth. He is currently the only test player to hit 100 sixes in the longer format which is a glimpse of his aggressive nature.He also has a test double century to his name when he plundered the South African bowling attack at the Wanderers stadium. His innings included 19 fours and 8 sixes and lasted just 213 balls.
Gilly was a safe bet behind the wickets as he hardly ever dropped a catch and his athleticism was top draw. His quick reflexes were the key to his keeping as he took some absolute blinders on occasions. He is second on the list of most dismissals for a keeper (416) in test matches and is just behind Mark Boucher on the list. In ODIs he is also second on the list with 472 dismissals.
You can be rest assured that there are not many players who were better as a wicket keeping batsman and he literally had an unmatched skill set in the opening role. His career had many such instances which make him a role model for players currently in the mix and for the future stars.