Former Australia keeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist takes a trip down memory lane – and not a fond conclusion for him – to the 2001 Test series against India. As the Indian fans celebrate 20 years since one of the greatest Test series, Adam Gilchrist shares a couple of glum anecdotes he had to endure with the Indian team making a comeback to win the series 2-1 after losing the first Test.
For the first half of the series – one Test and on innings of both sides in the second Test – Australia were on top; Adam Gilchrist himself made a sumptuous hundred in the first Test. But the marathon partnership of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, and then the spin wizardry of Harbhajan Singh pulled India back to register a historic victory in the second Test at the Eden Gardens.
The left-hander recalls sitting with the Australian team in the dressing room after losing the second Test, despite enforcing the follow-on on the hosts. Gilchrist reveals that since the board had planned to fly the players via a charter flight from Kolkata to Chennai, where the third Test was to be played, the Indian players kept on celebrating on the ground, and the visitors could only wait for them to finish their celebration before boarding the flight.
“I remember sitting after the game in Calcutta and both teams had to fly down to Chennai and we wound up in the change rooms and it was charter flight that both teams were on, and we were left sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting whilst the Indians celebrated back at the ground. They finally made their way out and, understandably, with pretty smug looks on their faces,” Adam Gilchrist told foxsports.com.au.
I certainly wasn’t physically or mentally ready to suit up again: Adam Gilchrist
The third and the series-deciding game was scheduled just 3 days after the second Test, giving Australia little time to recover from their defeat, which they couldn’t, as the southpaw says.
The 49-year-old asserts that even he, despite scoring a century in his first Test in India, was low on confidence. Sourav Ganguly’s side won the thriller in Chennai by just 2 wickets – suggests Australia did give a tough fight – and took the series which transcended expectations after the first Test.
“I’m not sure we did recover. I certainly wasn’t physically or mentally ready to suit up again. And it was a super quick turnaround and before we knew it we were in another dog fight. India just played so well and Harbhajan (with 15 wickets in the match) just controlled the game and that was that,” the former keeper further added.