'Gilchrist more destructive than Don'

Published January 7, 2005

SYDNEY, Jan 6: Buccaneering Australian star Adam Gilchrist is a more destructive batsman than the great Don Bradman, according to former Test wicket keeper Rod Marsh.

Gilchrist still has Australian cricket fans talking about his astonishing 120-ball 113 which dramatically changed the course of this week's final cricket Test against Pakistan into a resounding nine-wicket win for Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The sweet-hitting left-hander has now scored 13 centuries, the most by a wicket keeper in Test cricket. "It's a difficult thing to judge, obviously, with players like Tendulkar, Lara, Kallis, Warne ... but if you sat down to pick a world XI he'd have to be your first choice," Marsh said on Thursday.

Former Test skipper and prominent commentator Richie Benaud describes Gilchrist as the cleanest striker he has ever seen, and fellow commentator Bill Lawry compares him with Bradman as a destructive force.

Marsh, who helped shape Gilchrist's career when he coached him at the Australian Cricket Academy in the early 1990s, believes the key is the freedom Gilchrist brings to his batting.

"I don't think he ever thinks about getting out. If he thinks of anything while he's out there, he thinks about hitting the ball." Wisden officially rates Gilchrist the fastest scorer in Test cricket history, with a sustained strike rate well over 80 runs per 100 balls faced, at an average of nearly 53. -AFP

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