23rd February 2002, Johannesburg it was the Australia tour of South Africa for 3-match test series and 7-match ODI series. Led by Steve Waugh and Mark Boucher in tests while in the limited overs cricket Ricky Ponting and Shaun Pollock led their sides respectively.
The task of the wicket-keeper batsman should be to stay behind the stumps with his more acrobatic skills then over the ability to bat hardly in the long history of cricket. And it was all legal till the arrival of the swashbuckling Adam Gilchrist.
When we talk about the great wicket-keeper batsman in the history of cricket who was the trendsetter and most probably changed the dynamics of cricket with his whirlwind batting. At that point, the name of Adam Gilchrist came to our mind at first.
Apart from the wicket-keeping skills, the ever flamboyant Adam Gilchrist has won many accolades for his surreal hitting across the formats for Australia. Like if we try to analyse his career it was his batting which made the fans like me to watch his performance on the loop.
Straight through the start of his career, Adam Gilchrist's way of batting was quite different from others in the past or the ones who have played alongside him. Adam Gilchrist was the part of the Golden Era of Cricket Australia which was led by the most ruthless captain of the modern day era Ricky Ponting.
The team which has not played with opponents but with the minds of spectators and that’s with an ideal brand of cricket way back then from these cash-rich leagues. Adam Gilchrist test debut came in 1999 from the ODI debut in 1996.
In the span of quick time, Adam Gilchrist was the vital cog of Australia and played a big role in the Ashes series 2001, which Australia won by 4-1 in which Gilchrist scored 340 runs at an average of 68.00 and 26 dismissals in that series.
After whitewash South Africa by 3-0 in Australia, they toured to South Africa for a 3-match test series and it was the first test match when they went berserk in the first innings. Steve Waugh, captain of Australia after winning the toss has decided to bat first. The last test match of great Allan Donald and debut of Ashwell Prince.
With the brilliant century of Mathew Hayden (122), Australia was restricted to 293/5 at one stage when Adam Gilchrist walked into the crease to join Damien Martyn. Both have rescued the side and added on 317 run-partnership for the sixth wicket which was the highest stand partnership at the Johannesburg Ground.
In the match-winning partnership the swashbuckling Adam Gilchrist has demoralised the South Africa bowling attack with some trademark shots and went berserk with the fastest double hundred in test cricket to break the two decades record of Ian Botham of 220 balls double hundred.
Gilchrist took 212 balls to reach the double hundred but the record was possible for one month before Nathan Astle took the title from the Adam Gilchrist of fastest double hundred and registered his name with 153-ball double hundred which is still intact.
With the double hundred from Adam Gilchrist, Australia declared their first innings at the score of 652 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. In response, South Africa never managed to cross 160 runs in either of their innings and lost the match by 360 runs and an innings. Adam Gilchrist was declared man of the match and series later with 473 runs in 3-match test series. Australia won the test series by 2-1 and ODI series by 5-1.
Take a look at the fastest double hundred in test cricket by Adam Gilchrist-