Thursday, January 11, 2007

'nother day in Adam's Paradise

I remember watching "Hong Kong Cricket Sixes" matches in the 1995-96 season. Having difficulty recalling those? Maybe this will help: it is the same stuff where Sanjay Manjrekar had a strike rate of around 150 or more.

One player who was frequently heard of, but seldom seen, in those matches was a young wicketkeeper batsman from Australia, yet untried in Tests and ODIs, going by the name of Gilchrist (didn't care to know his full name until later that year).

Reason: As per HKCS rules batsmen had to leave the field after scoring 30+ (those were 5 over matches; I believe they are still playing that tourney in the same six-a-side, 5-over-innings format). Before you could spell his name this Gilchrist fellow would pocket his 30+ and quietly leave the scene. Often 70-80% of those runs would be in sixes, albeit hit over very short boundaries.

Cut to 9th January, 2007. We have an 'Ashes' game in a new format called Twenty20. This new format is, well, a bit of a cross between "Hong Kong sixes" and the other, more orthodox forms of cricket.

Around 11 years have passed since that season we just talked about. Wonder what Adam Gilchrist does for a living these days? Not much has changed,
it appears, over a career of 90 Tests and 247 ODI's.

Mankind would perhaps have continued living in paradise if the original Adam could boast of the stuff this Adam is made of. Who can forget the treatment Gilly reserved for the proverbial serpents in Indian pitches during
Mumbai 2001 and Bangalore 2004?

His 57-ball Test ton the other day and that recent Twenty20 innings were scored off hapless opponents. But they still stand for a few words that Gilly boy's
player page reserves for him:

....a flap-eared country boy who has walked when given not out in a World Cup semi-final, and 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 strays from it.

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