As the build-up to a summer of Ashes cricket begins and debate continues around who should have the gloves for the Australian team, Monday memories revisits arguably the greatest Ashes innings by a wicketkeeper – or by an Ashes debutant.
In the opening Test of the 2001 Ashes series, Shane Warne’s haul of 5/71 helped skittle England for 294 in the first innings. Enter Adam Gilchrist, who was making his Ashes debut after a long apprenticeship served behind Ian Healy.
Coming in at No.7 after Steve Waugh was dismissed for an outstanding 105, ‘Gilly’ bludgeoned 152 off just 143 balls, smashing 20 fours and five sixes. After taking 70 balls to bring up his half-century, he took just another 48 deliveries to bring up a glorious ton, and moved to 150 in facing only 23 more balls.
The keeper-batsman hit three sixes and a four off one Mark Butcher over as he guided Australia to 576 all out.
Warne and Jason Gillespie took three wickets each as England folded for a miserable 164 – with only two batsmen reaching double figures – clinching an emphatic win by an innings and 118 runs for the tourists.
Australia went on to win the series 4-1, with Gilchrist averaging 68 with the bat and racking up 26 dismissals behind the stumps, just two behind Rod Marsh’s then-world record set in the 1982-83 Ashes.