Gilchrist opens up on torrid times against Muralitharan and Harbhajan

Australia’s struggle against spin is not just a recent story. It was unthinkable to whitewash the Australian teams of 90s and 2000s but even those legendary cricketers struggled against quality spin.

Recently, former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist accepted that it was always very difficult for him to face Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and India’s Harbhajan Singh.

Going by the stats, which subsequently reveals plenty of things about any cricketer, Muralitharan got Gilchrist’s wicket four times in six Tests, while Harbhajan got the Aussie legend out seven times. ALSO READ: Adam Gilchrist pokes fun at former teammate and Brisbane Heat cricketer Matthew Hayden

In an interview with Sportskeeda, Gilchrist revealed that he could never read Muralitharan well and felt like a kid while facing the Sri Lankan legend.

“I could never read the delivery from Murali’s finger movements. He always made me feel like a 10-year-old. Whenever I was in doubt, I promptly swept.” He also revealed an interesting story from his career on how he tackled Muralitharan.

“There was this Test innings where I had gone out with this mindset to sweep. First ball, I swept and the ball went for four. Second ball, I swept again. This time, it went straight up in the sky and I was caught. Next match, again I swept Murali the first ball and was caught plumb in front of the stumps,” he added. ALSO READ: Show of sportsmanship: Steve Smith praises Australia’s ‘tormentor-in-chief’ Rangana Herath

However, his long-time ODI opening partner Matthew Hayden was a left-hander, who dominated the subcontinent spin bowlers.

Further, Gilchrist also shared the banter between him and Mike Hussey during their playing days when it came to facing Muralitharan and added, “We were always a bad influence for each other in the dressing room. If Mike had to go out and face Murali, I would pull his leg and make him nervous. He would get back to me when my chance came. On one such occasion, Mike went out to bat. The first ball, he tried to play a defensive shot, the ball zipped past him. The second ball, Mike was apprehensive again. This time, the ball missed the stumps by an even shorter gap. He was completely clueless but somehow survived till lunch.”

Gilchrist averages 47.60 in Tests overall but in Asia, he has the worst average in Tests of 37.31. In 10 Tests, involving Harbhajan, Gilchrist scored at an average of 25, while he averaged 52 in nine Test innings involving Muralitharan and was only dismissed twice in his One-Day career by the former Sri Lankan.