Gilchrist plays it safe with 'spin'

I love the tradition of Test cricket

Gilchrist plays it safe with 'spin'

India’s decision to leave out frontline spinners from the on-going tour game against India ‘A’ have angered the visiting Englishmen, but Australian great Adam Gilchrist was of the opinion that the hosts can afford to do it as it has been happening in cricket from a very long time.

Spin duties have been entrusted with part-timers Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary in the three-day game being played at the Brabourne stadium.

“I hear the point, but it is a dangerous game to judge the selection policy of other teams,” said Gilchrist upon his visit to the City on Wednesday. “Who knows the reasons? There may be a perfectly legitimate reason why they wanted to play only fast bowlers.

I’m not going to speculate on what the reasons are. I find a little light hearted humour in it. It’s maybe a little cat and mouse game leading into the series. England won’t be surprised if they turn up for the first Test and it’s a spinning wicket and India play two or three spinners.

Elaborating his point, the former left-handed opening batsmen said: “It’s been happening here since cricket has been played here, and that’s what you expect when you come to India. When you go to England, there’s something in the wicket and they play three or four fast bowlers.

There is no need to get too precious about it… you just need to get on with it. England will get their quality practice as they’ll get to face spinners in their nets. They have toured here enough times, it’s not like they are here for the first time and will get exposed to the conditions.”

Recently, the International Cricket Council has given go-ahead for day/night Test matches, in an attempt to infuse fresh life into the traditional format, also allowing leaving it to the members to decide on the colour of the balls to be used in such matches. But, like many, Gilchrist too said he was not for changing the sport’s premier format.

“I’ve played day-night first-class cricket in Australia a few years ago. I must admit, I found it difficult. I understand the desire to experiment, moving with the times and the modern world. My personal perspective, I like Test cricket the way it is. I love the tradition of it. I haven’t heard too many players say any different to that.

I hear a lot of players support T20 and ODIs and so do I, it’s very important. But Test cricket is absolute masterpiece, and I prefer not to see graffiti,” the wicketkeeper opined.

A new-look Australia run into South Africa in a three-match Test series, starting on November 9, and unlike in the past, they start the underdogs. Australia have entered the transition period after the retirement of a few big names, and still searching for their lost glory. “It’s almost like everyone expects Australia to be No 1 all the time.

I think with Australia’s changing period has coincided three teams -- SA, India and England -- surging forward on the back of three or four years of preprations prior to that. It’s been a balancing out effect, and I think Aus cricket is certainly heading in the right direction,” said Gilchrist.

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