Sydney, Nov 3 (UNI) After lambasting Indian cricketers in his autobiography, former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist finally has some good things to say when he admitted that he wrongly appealed for Rahul Dravid's dismissal during the controversial Sydney Test.
Gilchrist was referring to an incident on the fifth day of the match when Dravid, after labouring for two and a half hours for his 38, played a forward defensive shot to an Andrew Symonds delivery which the keeper thought was edged to him.
''The Dravid decision was a howler, but to this day I would not have acted any differently. It happened very quickly, there was a noise, the tension was high, I thought he'd hit it. We all went up,'' he wrote in his autobiography 'True Colours of my life'.
The incident invited severe censure from the critics but Gilchrist defended his decision, stating that things happened in the heat of the moment.
''I appealed for something which I genuinely thought was out, and then replays showed it wasn't. It may have come as a surprise to Peter Roebuck and other critics, but I was not perfect. I did not have slow motion, Hawkeye, hot-spot vision. I thought Dravid had hit it. I was wrong!'' he admitted. ''To feel the ball coming into my gloves at slightly deflected angle, having heard the noise, I wasn't 100 per cent sure of course; but there was a good chance he'd hit it, so I appealed.'' ''I went up, we all went up, and the umpire gave him out. Replays would show that the ball and his bat had grazed his pad, and he hadn't hit it. Roebuck had a problem with me because of the manner of Rahul Dravid's dismissal,'' he added.
Gilchrist also said the onfield confrontations and controversies during the ill-tempered series tarnished Australia's reputation to and prompted critics to doubt his honesty.
''Now I was being accused of being a bad sport, for claiming the catch. This was great example of what some of my teammates had warned me about; that my principled stance on walking would be used to beat me with.
''According to Roebuck and others, I was part of an ugly win-at-all-costs attitude. I dropped my standards to the point where I was, basically cheating,'' he added.
He also alleged that criticism of Australia's unsportsmanlike behaviour put added pressure on them and pushed them on to the back foot.
''There were crucial moments in Perth when we hesitated, and I felt it cost us initiative in the match... The Indians lapped it up in the field. Knowing that we were the ones under pressure for our behaviour, they went in hard and aggressive, thinking it would not matter what they did,'' Gilchrist wrote.
''We felt like we were playing with one hand tied behind our backs, if only because of mixed messages about restraining our aggression. The Indians were less inhibited.'' UNI XC AB AS1825