Statistics confirm Adam Gilchrist as one of the greatest wicketkeeper/batsmen in cricket history.
He made 5570 (average 47.6) in 96 Tests, took 379 catches and made 37 stumpings. He added a further 9619 runs (av 35.89), 417 catches and 55 stumpings in One Day Internationals.
He was not just prolific but exciting: His 100 Test sixes remain a record and he set records for the second fastest Test Century in history and the fastest double century.
A talented junior cricketer from country NSW, Gilchrist was a member of the NSW under 17 side, member of a national Australia Young Cricketers team that toured England in 1991 and then toured with an Australian Cricket Academy team. He was promoted to the NSW State side in 1992-3 as a batsman (Phil Emery holding the wicket-keeping job). Despite averaging 30.4 in his debut season Gilchrist found competition for a regular berth tough in what was then Australia’s premier State team.
He moved to WA in 1994-5 and his career blossomed — initially with the gloves but in his second season also with the bat.
He made his Test debut against Pakistan at the Gabba in 1999 and was an instant success with five catches, a stumping and a rapid 61 as a middle order batsman in a match Australia won. An unbeaten 149 in his second Test cemented his place in the side.
He went on to play 96 Tests, along with 287 One Day Internationals. He was vice-captain of Australia from 2000 onwards and stepped in as captain on six occasions for four wins, a draw and a loss.
His hard-hitting aggressive style made him a formidable one day player. He was a member of three World Cup winning teams (1999, 2003, and 2007) and has the distinction of being the only man ever to score half centuries in successive World Cup finals. He scored 17 ODI centuries and was twice Australia’s ODI Player of the Year (2003-4).
He was one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2002 and winner of the Alan Border Medal in 2003, both awards recognising his dominance in both forms of the Game. He was also named in Richie Benaud’s All-Time Greatest team.
Adam Gilchrist is remembered not only for his outstanding skills as both batsman and wicketkeeper, but for his sportsmanship, particularly his willingness to walk without waiting for the umpire’s verdict if he considered he was out.
After his retirement from international cricket in 2008 he pursued a successful career in the Indian Premier League