ADELAIDE:Veteran Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist vowed to depart cricket on his own terms here Friday after claiming the world record for dismissals during the fourth Test against India.
Gilchrist equalled South African Mark Boucher's milestone of 413 dismissals when he claimed the third of his four catches in the Indian first innings, bagging the record when he caught Anil Kumble off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson to end the Indian innings.
It was a satisfying and timely achievement for the 36-year-old, who has been under considerable scrutiny for dropped catches during the series, spilling four in the second Test in Sydney and another sitter on the first day of the fourth Test on Thursday.
Due to these errors, there has been renewed speculation about his longevity in Test cricket, but Gilchrist said the critics only spurred him on and refused to speculate on a timeline for retirement.
"I'm not going to hint as to what my plans are," he said. "I just want to keep playing. I've been enjoying it.
"I'll let the public and press know when I make a decision, whether that is tomorrow or in 12 months' time."
Gilchrist, who has 377 catches and 37 stumpings in 96 Tests, admitted he had been one of the main culprits in some unusually sloppy fielding from the Australians during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, including a string of missed chances on Friday's second day of the Test here.
However, he has no lingering concerns about his form with the gloves.
"I've made a lot of mistakes, but if you rock up for 96 Test matches you are going to make the odd mistake," he said.
Gilchrist added he was thrilled to claim the record and paid tribute to the bowlers he has kept to throughout his career.
"I've had the best of the best," he noted. "Warney (Shane Warne), Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, all of them have been brilliant."
While it has been his wicketkeeping that has been under the microscope recently, Gilchrist's batting has also lost a little of its lustre in recent years.
Those who witnessed his World Cup final masterpiece and 59-ball Test hundred in Perth 13 months ago would not doubt his ability with the bat but his performances have become more sporadic.
His average stood at 60.81 in 2003 but now lies at a more modest 47.89 and is danger of dropping to its lowest point since he was dismissed in the first innings of his second Test.
In his past 20 Tests, he has made 784 runs at 31.36, but 246 of those runs came in two centuries, and in the current series he has 136 runs at 22.66.