Greater variety in innovative shots affecting Test batting: Gilchrist

Kolkata, April 27 (IANS) Adam Gilchrist, who redefined power hitting in the shorter versions of cricket, says while the variety and frequency of innovative shots have increased following the advent of the Twenty20 format, they are also affecting Test match batting.

“Obviously innovations have been there in the game earlier, it is just that the frequency of innovative shots have increased manifold.

I was flabbergasted to see (South African) Jonty Rhodes play a reverse sweep in the 1990s, not the dab, but the hard smack for six, in 1997. So innovation isn’t new but the variety is increasing,” he said.

“It’s amazing to see where they can hit the ball these days – no ball’s safe,” he said.

The 41-year-old said such innovations have affected batting in Tests.

“These have affected Test match batting. I am not here to pass a judgement but then that sort of questions are being raised,” he said.

With the advent of the shortest version of the game and batsmen manufacturing out of the book shots, the dashing opener maintains he followed tradition and was just a “plain hitter”.

“I never chose to go that way, you know, like the old dog and new tricks. I was more of a hitter,” said the Australian great.

The Kings XI Punjab skipper, whose bat has been silent so far in the latest edition of the Indian Premier League, admitted he was past his prime.

“Goes without saying I have underperformed to this point of time. I am old compared to the rest and I am not in the height of my powers. Obviously I am not hitting the ball as I used to hit in my prime,” said Gilchrist.

But the hard hitting batsman is not troubled much by this as it is “not a matter of life and death” and is thrilled to still play.

He also lauded actor-director Farhan Akhtar’s initiative- Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD).

“It’s a wonderful initiative that we are all supporting and should be taken very seriously because what we have seen and read about it is disturbingly gruesome and horrible.” He said.

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