Cricket’s greatest inventor: Adam Gilchrist redefines the role of wicketkeeper-batsman

With its origins dating back to the thirteenth century, cricket has evolved greatly over the years.

The game is always in flux until changes in its law are adopted from a completely new format. Cricket lawmakers and guards have played a role in developing the game over time, as well as several players who have made their own impact.

These players helped change the way the game approached and permanently rocks their legacy. Whether it’s introducing a whole new shot with the bat or making a fundamental change in the game, these players are the greatest innovators in cricket.

There is the great Sir Viv Richards, who in the sixties stood out among his contemporaries for playing ‘over the line’ with his agility and brilliance. Then there is Pakistan spinner S Sakeline Mushtaq, who has given a new dimension to the offseason spinners’ dominance.

You can forget the offensive talent of Kevin Pietersen and his ‘switch hit’. Or how the Sanath Jayasuriya completely revolutionized ODI cricket by exploiting the 1996 World Cup. Even Zimbabwean legend Andy Flower provoked a revolution in the way he hurt spinners with his reverse sweep.

How Sarfraz Nawaz introduced the art of reverse swing before giving knowledge of the next generation of Pakistanis was another invention of the sport.

Australia’s Adam Gilchrist deserves a special mention for redefining the role of a wicketkeeper.

Adam Gilchrist

With over 16,6 international runs and 905 dismissals to his name, Adam Gilchrist is one of Australia’s best ever jersey players.

Gilchrist was instrumental in the all-rounder’s Australian team, which included winning three straight ICC World Cup titles in a brilliant international career spanning 32 years.

পরে After making a one-day debut for Australia at the age of 29 in 1996, Gilchrist had to wait three more years before earning his first Test cap against Pakistan in five.

The long wait for the test call-up was because Southpaw put Ian Haley ahead of the wicketkeeping picking order. After warming up the bench for a long time, Gilchrist wasted no time in making his dominance by hitting 81১ in Brisbane on the Test field.

Despite the shocking debut, the man from New South Wales has yet to take part in that Test for Australia and has scored 1,707 runs in the process.

The aggressive batsman of nature, Gilchrist plundered ১ and ১ and 16 tonnes respectively in Test and ODI format. Gilchrist has shown ease in his innate bowling and carefree style of batting when it comes to the number one Test in ODIs.

In the test, he could come in at 150-5 or 350-5, but he would deliver the goods more often than not with his counter-offensive approach. Gilchrist, the first batsman to hit a century in history, can change the color of the game in a session.

If he comes in after the first collapse, he can suddenly throw the boundary into the back foot of the opponents. If he was to walk after the Australia top-order had already done well, there would have been only more pain for the weary bowlers and fielders.

He stood out among his counterparts as proof of Gilchrist’s struggles as a batsman, with a strike rate of 6.5 in the Test innings. He finished his career in ODIs with a strike rate of 1.8, 5, 6 runs.

Be it people for crisis or those who swallow cautious bowling attacks, Gilchrist is an important part of the Australian team that sparked every opposition against them.

A new definition for wicketkeeper-batsman

Gilchrist’s legacy in sport is clearly different, giving the Australian ‘wicketkeeper-batsman’ meaning a new meaning. Before he came on the scene, skill with the gloves was considered to be the highest standard for any wicketkeeper.

Running the wicketkeepers, usually at no, or at number eight in the order was considered a bonus. There were rare guys like Andy Flower and Alec Stewart who could have done better with the bat, with the wicketkeeper averaging around 20-24.

He was considered the best wicketkeeper of his generation as Gilchrist’s predecessor to the Australian squad. However, his batting average of 2 and 20 at Test and ODI formats was fairly common.

AG

During Gilchrist’s remarkable success with the bat, the role of wicketkeeper batsmen changed forever. Although shown as his 905 international dismissal, there was no inclination behind the stumps, Gilchrist wicketkeeping skills were not Hilly’s patch. However, the great features of his batting saw Haley’s career fade away at a sloping distance.

“Not only me, he also influenced selectors to look at wicketkeeping from a completely different perspective – to understand that any wicketkeeper needs to be extremely skilled, but at the same time, if he cannot contribute to the bat, then he is selected by Sri Lankan wicketkeeping legend Kumar Sangakkara. Said, ‘It’s been tough ESPNcricinfo Regarding Gilchrist’s influence on the sport.

“So, he challenged the wicketkeepers to improve their batting, to understand how to bat with a tail.”

The impact of Gilchrist’s game-changing means that batting ability is equally important for a wicketkeeper who is now playing. Almost every wicketkeeper at the highest level is a pure batsman in his own right.

In many cases, teams are also ready to compensate for the wicketkeeping ability to achieve the luxury of extra-batting firepower. Rahul Dravid and Younis Khan are two legendary batsmen of their own, yet both stalwarts have kept wickets for their country at one point in their career.

Now, wicketkeepers with batting skills are plentiful in international cricket. The likes of MS Dhoni, Jose Butler, Johnny Bairstow, Quinton de Kock and Mushfiqur Rahim are examples of wicketkeepers who are truly great batsmen. KL Rahul was given the responsibility of wicketkeeping to strengthen India’s limited-overs batting firepower recently.

New Zealand has Tom Latham and BJ Watling, Australia has Alex Carey and Tim Payne. It is impossible for any wicketkeeper in the game to rely solely on their defense ability. Being an all-rounder is a must for every player, and this huge change has come down to Gilchrist’s great exploits for Australia alone.

Learn more about the Sport 360 app