Sydney, Jan.28 : Superstar wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist has rated the Australian team's victorious tour to India in 2004 as the greatest landmark of his career in the sport.
It was Australia's first series win in India in 34 years, and Gilchrist was the captain in the basence of an injured Ricky Ponting.
"That tour had such an amazing build-up to it and expectation. From that moment on (taking the captaincy as Ponting nursed a fractured thumb), I started to get nervous and had a few self-doubts and considered not even taking the job. But to captain that team for the bulk of that series and be part of the leadership group that constructed that victory was definitely the highest point, the greatest achievement of my career personally," The Age quoted Gilchrist as saying today after the drawn final Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.
As far as his finest individual moment was concerned, Gilchrist said it was the 149 that he smashed in last year's World Cup final against Sri Lanka. He said that was one of the most difficult periods of his life, when he had to put aside homesickness and a longing to see his family to score those runs.
Gilchrist left home just after the birth of his and wife Mel's third child, Archie, just as he had done for other tours when Harrison and Annie were born.
"To have played that knock in the World Cup final, on the biggest stage possible at the right time, it's very rare things go all to plan all at once at the most important time. We all know how long that tournament was and I found it a very lonely, difficult time to get through and to pick myself up and do that, it was really, really special," he said.
Gilchrist began running through a guard of honour formed by his team-mates, gave them an emotional address before the final session and was then celebrated by both teams and the crowd of 11,425, which contained a huge contingent of his family and friends.
He retires from Test cricket with 5570 runs, a world record 416 dismissals, but "no dramas" at being remembered most for his batting.
Story first published: Monday, January 28, 2008, 18:28 [IST]
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