Adam Gilchrist’s legacy has become a curse

Clayton Waters Roar Rookie

By , Clayton Waters is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    Not many cricket stories that reference Australia’s latests performances don’t include criticism or surprise that our current wicket keepers have performed well.

    Our recent tour of Bangladesh had us all bashing the proverbial selectors door demanding Matt Wade be dropped after 30+ byes and some poor overall keeping. Was this really a reason? Or was it the fact he scored under ten in both innings? The role of the keeper in cricket today has been changed forever – thanks to one fine player, Adam ‘Gilly’ Gilchrist.

    Adam Gilchrist changed the face of what it meant to ‘keep wickets’ but to also be one the most dominating batsmen of the 2000s. You can only imagine playing Australia during his time and thinking that you are into the tail and then Gilly walks out.

    Test average of 47 and a ODI average of 35 with a strike rate board line 100, the game has only just began for the bowling side.

    Prior to the Gilly era, we had arguably the best glove man in Australian history Ian Healy running the ship. Your more traditional keeper, he only averaged 27 with the stick – but his glove work was yards above the standard ‘wicky’.

    Keeping to Shane Warne in the early days was like no one had seen before. If someone said ‘Heals dropped a catch today’ you’d probably say they are lying. But on his own, he maintained his spot based on his glove work, leadership skills and love for the game.

    Brad Haddin brought amazing hands, energy, passion and determination to the game and was a perfect replacement for Gilly. Batting at 6-7, he took down opposition attacks for fun and did it with an air of confidence which was contagious.

    Selectors had it easy picking him. They knew what they were going to get. I would argue it’s not to same with our current crop.

    Wade, Nevill and Handscomb, what do I think? I don’t know if Wade is your man. In saying this he seems to be a bit of a culture man, which I like.

    We also would be ignorant to say that keeping in Bangladesh was easy. It would be the last place I would want to try and catch. Will the flatter wickets in Australia be a saving grace for Wade?

    I don’t think Nevill did a lot wrong to be punted in the first place and if he has a big one day season and even better first couple of Shield games I’d be worried for Wade. Like Wade, Nevill is a good culture builder and brings a lot of ups to the side. But in the modern day game thanks to the Gilly curse, he needs runs.

    Or do we go left field and throw Handscomb in there, who is reported as a tidy glove man and is scoring runs for Australia? Selectors have to decide what the focus is with Handscomb. I think he has a huge future and he should worry about scoring more 100s, particularly in the upcoming Ashes campaign.

    It might not be popular but I am keen for Nevill to return to the picture and to see the selectors emphasise the glove work component to the game.

    All wicketkeepers are now expected to catch everything and not make a mistake but also be the saving grace when the country needs you.

    Will Australia ever pick a wicket keeper who bats 11? Even if he had the best hands? I don’t think so.

    What’s more important to cricket selectors now? The Gilly blessing has now become a curse for Australian selectors who are trying to emulate a man who took the game by storm.

    How lucky we were to have him. I hope the next crop and the current can succeed half as good as him.

    The wicketkeeper has had a good game when no one talks about his wicketkeeping.