Adelaide: Australiaâ€™s vice-captain Adam Gilchrist is now the numero uno wicketkeeper. On Friday, he got past Protean Mark Boucherâ€™s Test tally of 413 dismissals.
Gilchrist, who now has 414, spoke to the media in general shortly after stumps on Day II of the final Test and, then, briefly interacted with The Telegraph separately.
The following are excerpts
On having become the No. 1 â€™keeper
Iâ€™m thrilled to be the world record-holder… Itâ€™s a nice, satisfying achievement… Itâ€™s not something you set out to achieve… If you actually set out with that in mind, then youâ€™ll never get anywhere close… You just play and creep up close to the record… I wouldâ€™ve got there quicker had I cleanly collected a couple more…
On being thankful to the bowlers
Oh, absolutely… Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie… So many… They were and are brilliant and Iâ€™ve had the best time behind the stumps. Itâ€™s because of what they were and are that Iâ€™m able to sit here and talk about the record.
On whether, as the Australia vice-captain, heâ€™s missed Warne and McGrath in this series
Itâ€™s natural to imagine Warnie coming along or… Theyâ€™ve been the best and one is going to miss them, but our bowling, as a general rule, has stepped up really well… Thereâ€™s a gaping hole in the vacancies, but the new guys have come with really good intentions and their work ethic has been phenomenal… India have played well, though.
On the most difficult bowler he kept to
(Grins) Michael Bevan, in the ODIs… I found him difficult to pick… Generally, conditions make a difference and the ball can swing after passing the bat…
On whether the drops have been a matter of concern
Personally, I had a shocking day in Sydney, where I put down three-four… Then, I put one down yesterday (Thursday)… It was disappointing as the â€™keeper sets the tone on the field… Weâ€™re training as hard… Sometimes they stick, sometimes they donâ€™t… Weâ€™d surely love not to make a mistake every single day, but sometimes you do.
On whether heâ€™s disappointed that sections of the media begin questioning his â€™keeping abilities each time he has had a bad day
Iâ€™ve always had to maintain a high standard with my â€™keeping as, otherwise, people would pounce (on a lapse) very quickly… Iâ€™m not sure whether thatâ€™s the result of my batting with people suggesting that Iâ€™m just a batsman and a back-stop… However, Iâ€™ve used that as an incentive to help motivate me… More often than not, I feel Iâ€™ve maintained a high standard… Iâ€™ve made mistakes, yes, but some critics out there have been very quick to pounce on me… But, then, as Anil (Kumble) said last week, you use that as a bit of inspiration and encouragement to keep going… Getting better too.
On what causes the lapses
It comes down to concentration… Whether youâ€™re switched on for every ball… Very rarely, if ever, can I remember having dropped a catch or missed a stumping and being able to tell myself that I was fully focused on that delivery… Iâ€™ve usually had something on my mind or I just wandered off and got exposed.
On whether what the critics say will influence his decision â€” when he does make it â€” to leave the big stage
I heard somebody say on the TV today that I keep defending my position all the time in press conferences… Iâ€™ll let the public and the press know when I make a decision… It could be tomorrow, could be in 12 months time… For the moment, Iâ€™ll keep focusing on giving it all to this team… Anything is a possibility… At the end of the day, you might try not to listen to comments, but then somebody will send you a text message… So, you listen… You then get angry… Look, it has to come from within… There comes a time when players just know itâ€™s time (to bow out)…
Heâ€™s very good… Obviously, heâ€™s talented otherwise he wouldnâ€™t have stood the test of time. I expect him to play for much longer and, so, heâ€™ll definitely get back this record.
On Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who idolises him
Heâ€™s probably got more runs in the series than I have… Not sure… Heâ€™s an exciting player and has played a couple of quality knocks… He played a very important innings in Perth… Ultimately, youâ€™ve got to do whatâ€™s required by the team… Heâ€™s still learning and you canâ€™t expect fireworks each time that he bats. Heâ€™s going along nicely and is a valuable asset for the Indian team.
On having been on the field for almost two days
Itâ€™s been two very tiresome days for us, but I guess it shows that the wicket is very nice… Weâ€™ve got to make every partnership count, which India did… We had to work hard for every opportunity and every wicket… Hopefully, we can learn… Fortunately, we got through unscathed tonight…
On the Team India tail putting on 150-plus at the Adelaide Oval
Their tail batted with great courage and determination and supported whoever was the senior partner… It was Anil here… In Sydney, it was Sachin Tendulkar… RP (Singh) did a very good job in Perth.
On whether only one team (India) can win from here
Iâ€™m not going to make any prediction… Last season, we saw extraordinary twists and turns during the Ashes (England lost despite declaring at 551 for six in the first innings) and we all know what happened in 2003-04 when India played here last… India won after weâ€™d scored 556 in our first innings… We know the history… On both occasions, as it turned out, the team which batted second won… Weâ€™ve got a nice foundation to work on, but thereâ€™s lots to do. We can, of course, take a lot of encouragement from the Indian innings.
On Sachinâ€™s masterly innings
Heâ€™s been amazing, living up to his reputation… Itâ€™s typical of Sachin and all credit to him for maintaining such a standard. Heâ€™s had an amazing journey.
On Kumble as captain
Very impressed with his leadership… Havenâ€™t sat down and thought about Anil tactically, but heâ€™s just won a Test in Perth on a wicket where the Indians would fear turning up… Looks like he has the team with him completely… What more do you ask of a leader?
Finally, on whether itâ€™s become fashionable to gun for the seniors
(Laughs) I think it happens with time… Thatâ€™s not in my hands… One hopes, though, that the contributions made get recognised and arenâ€™t forgotten…