Starting with this post, a new series of my views on the game of cricket, on some players, on some of the issues the game's facing and the never ending controversies. This is something I used to regularly do in college but got cut off for a while . Back on air now. : )
Gilly has a style of his own. He would'nt kill you but just hit you.And for some of us that's a pleasure. Cuts,sweeps,pulls,straight drives and more cuts,sweeps,pulls and straight drives. Before you would even acknowledge his presence on crease, he would be on 20 odd and by the time you have a plan he's crossed 50. And by the time you figure the plan's not working he's making the common man on the ground outside the stadium find the red cherry he's just dispatched over square leg. A tremendous asset to any side with a lightning batspeed and an even faster walk to the crease and back when it comes to that.
He is acknowledged as one of the top batsmen today but contrary to what some seem to believe I dont subscribe to the view that he's the best around. Contemporary cricket does have atleast 4 batsmen who would rank ahead of Gilly in my book. I am a huge fan of his batting style but not his batting. For he can still be more menacing than he currently is.
He is mercilessly destructive for a bowler's morale and I said it elsewhere that where Gilly fails to make it to the top league in my book is because the bowler is always in with a chance with him unlike a Lara or a Sachin or a Dravid or Vaughan who once in for some time would make you toil for their wicket.
The recent Ashes Series was the first one where he failed throughout. And this was a quality attack he was up against. It would be interesting to see how Gilchrist deals with this failure at an age when many others think about quitting the game. Importantly , it would be interesting to know how the Aussie Selectors intend to deal with him, with Brad Haddin waiting to take off should the flight of Gilly be cut short by the selectors. This is pretty much a deja vu for me for not so long back I prayed that Healy make runs so that Gilly would'nt come and take his place. I dont think it is that stage yet when anyone needs to pray for Gilly but yes for the first time in his career Gilly will have to give 'hitting the ball' a thought , something he is not used to and something he should'nt do.
Gilly's batting has been, for the millions of his viewers, all about unadulterated joy, uncomplicated hitting and uncensored flamboyance. And I hope I dont have to start offering my prayers for him anytime soon. Over the years he has cracked some stunning centuries and here's my pick of the lot:
The one in Mumbai ,against India in the 2003 season shud stand out cos of the sheer devilry of heaving Bhajji over and over again against the spin on a dusty track.
The one in Hobart, against Pakistan because it came against a top class attack and because he was batting in the fourth innings and contributed to one of the highestrun chases in history
The one in Durban ,against SA for effortlessness.(fastest double in tests). I remembering him heaving one off Boje over midwicket, a wild sweep and then he stood up to push the ball suggestively in the air so that it could hit one of the billboards that could have earned him some rands.
Easily the most destructive in World Cricket, destructive to a bowler's pride, to a team's morale and injurious to the very health of a bowling team supporter