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DHARAMSALA: Adam Gilchrist may have retired from international cricket but retains the ability to reproduce the magic of coming good on the big day.
For a wicketkeeper, with the highest strike rates in both Test and One-Day Internationals, Gilchrist has achieved more than any other cricketer in the game.
On Tuesday, Gilchrist turned the corner with a blistering knock of 106 that laid Royal Challengers Bangalore low amid the scenic surrounds of the HPCA Cricket Stadium here. It was yet another must-win match for Kings XI Punjab and that too, against the league leader.
Coming good in big matches is nothing new to Gilchrist, who turns 40 this November. In three successive World Cup finals, Gilchrist has a score of 50-plus, with a high of 149 against Sri Lanka in the 2007 final.
After a string of below-par scores so far in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League, Gilchrist finally got his act together. The humble man, who has seen it all during his illustrious career, refused to rate his blazing knock but termed it as “important” and a “pleasing” one.
“I have not been setting the world on fire with my batting in the last 6-7 innings. So it was nice to come good,” he said after turning the match into a no-contest.
Not many have noticed that Gilchrist, who opened his account with his 2000th run in Twenty20 cricket, had scored only two runs off eight deliveries in the first six overs.
The 10th ball he faced, Gilchrist hoisted a six off A. Mithun and thereafter, did not look back.
“I told myself, don't panic. If you can stick around, you can always pick it up later,” said the man not known to be patient at the crease.
But, for Gilchrist the captain, the job on hand is far from over.
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