Build-up to Perth has been fiery: Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist says the two teams will enter the Perth Test with fire in their bellies.

updated: January 18, 2008 17:31 IST
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The 'peace talks' between rival captains Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble notwithstanding, Adam Gilchrist says the two teams will enter the Perth Test with fire in their bellies.

The Australians are pushing for a record-breaking 17th straight win and the Indians, who are 0-2 down in the series, are desperate to make a comeback.

"This game I'm sure will have a bit of build-up to it and there will be a bit of fire in everyone's bellies at the start," Gilchrist was quoted as saying in The Age.

However, the wicketkeeper-batsman felt the two sides are professional enough to keep their focus on cricket.

"... I think both teams are professional enough that once the ball's bowled we'll just get underway and just get back into cricket mode," he said.

The build-up to the Perth Test has been sullied by off-field controversies on umpiring blunders and a racism row, requiring intervention from the ICC, which sent chief referee Ranjan Madugalle to broker peace between the two captains.

According to both Ponting and Kumble, the meeting helped clear the sir on several contentious issues.

Gilchrist said the Aussies were desperate to clinch their 17th consecutive win.

"We're desperately keen to get this 17th win, we also want to win the series (Australia lead the four-match series 2-0), we don't want a drawn series even though we've retained the (Border-Gavaskar) trophy," he said.

"It's great there's so much excitement about this Test match. A lot of people would say it's a dead rubber, but it's far from that," Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist, who was in the Steve Waugh-led team which won 16 successive Tests before being beaten by India in India, said he never thought that he would get another opportunity to be a part of the same record again.

"Every player would love to be part of that team if it was to happen, because having had that experience before and setting a record that I thought would never be broken and it's now been equalled, everyone would be excited to be part of a team that sets a new record," he said.

The stumper, who overtook Rahul Dravid's record of longest unbroken Test run with 94 matches, said he was proud to have the record under his belt.

"Justin Langer always said the greatest characteristic or sign of a true champion is longevity, because they've been around long enough to show their skill and their wares over time in various conditions," Gilchrist said.

"So that's a nice little something to reflect on and know that I've been able to do it and stick around and haven't missed a Test match, which is a big thrill, a big honour" he added.