Gilchrist's loss greater than Warne and McGrath: Buchanan

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Adelaide, Jan 26 (UNI) Former Australian coach John Buchanan has termed Adam Gilchrist's decision to retire from international cricket as 'surprising' saying the wicket-keeper's loss is even greater than Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath's.

''The decision did surprise me but it was his personal one. He was a close friend and I admired him as a person, as a cricketer and as a father,'' Buchanan was quoted as saying by cricinfo.com.

Gilchrist made a sudden announcement today at the end of the third day's play of the fourth and final Test against India at Adelaide.

Australia's most successful coach, Buchanan, said Gilchrist's retirement would leave a void in the Australian team and added that the left-handed wicket-keeper batsman's retirement is a bigger loss to Australian Cricket than what it suffered when McGrath and Warne announced their retirement.

''Possibly his loss is more than even Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

''What delighted me about Adam Gilchrist was his sense of balance as a player in sport played at the highest level,'' he said.

Acknowledging his efforts at the top level, Buchanan said ''his contribution to Australian and world cricket was incredible.

He set benchmarks for wicketkeeper-batsmen and in general to cricketers,'' he said.

Gilchrist has a phenomenal record in both forms of the game.

He has a career average of 47.89 at a staggering strike-rate of 81.67.

''He could change games with a drop of hat in any form of the game. His character as a person, his contribution to the captain and the team culture even exceeded his contributions on the field,'' Buchanan claimed.

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