Adam Gilchrist goes gaga over Smith

Says textbooks on batting technique may need to be rewritten

Published - September 12, 2019 04:06 am IST - Bengaluru

Adam Gilchrist at the IFIM Business School in Bengaluru.

Adam Gilchrist at the IFIM Business School in Bengaluru.

Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist believes Steve Smith’s unorthodox yet highly successful batting technique could force the coaching manual to be rewritten.

“Years ago, Smith had a lean patch with the bat, and had to step away for a bit. He tried to change his technique, but later decided to stay true to his game.

“To stick to your guns when all the cricketing greats, coaches and textbooks say you are wrong — that takes real courage. And now everyone is watching him bat in amazement, and trying to learn from him. The textbooks on batting technique may need to be rewritten,” Gilchrist said here, at an event to announce University of Wollongong scholarships to students of IFIM Business School.

“Smith’s run is extraordinary, considering the sort of pressure he was under. It (heckling) was expected from the England crowds. Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft took responsibility for their actions. Smith has utilised the time away to come back mentally tougher,” said Gilchrist.

Australia may be 2-1 ahead in the Ashes, but Gilchrist is not convinced the team wears a settled look yet.

“Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft — they are still finding their feet in Test cricket. I don’t think anyone has secured their spot in the Australian team, apart from Steve Smith.

“We’re not fully settled on what our best top-seven is, so there’s opportunity for youngsters to come in," he said.

Speaking on Indian cricket, Gilchrist backed Rohit Sharma to come good if he is picked as a Test opener.

“At home, Rohit can most definitely play as opener. It might be more challenging when touring Australia, South Africa and England,” Gilchrist said.

‘I love Rohit’

“I love Rohit. We’ve played together for Deccan Chargers in the IPL.

“I think Rohit deceives people. I mean, since he is a laidback guy, people think he is not working hard enough. In reality, he is world-class," he said.

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