Reverse swing was like a curse on us: Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist said he unravelled the mystery of England's reverse swing when Troy Cooley was Australia's coach.

updated: November 05, 2008 10:05 IST
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Despite managing to use reverse-swing to potent effect in their successful 2004 tour of India, Australian team felt "cursed" by the same technique in the lost 2005 Ashes against England, reveals former vice-captain Adam Gilchrist.

"The salient point in England is that not only could we not get it to reverse swing, we weren't game to try anything, we had this feeling of a curse on us," Gilchrist wrote in his autobiography 'True Colours'.

"Occasionally in a meeting someone would say, '... let's just do it' but we'd say no: 'as soon as we start going down that line we'll get busted'," he said.

Gilchrist said he unravelled the mystery of England's reverse swing 18 months later during the 2006 Champions Trophy match in Jaipur when Troy Cooley, who assisted Michael Vaughan's men in the Ashes, was Australia's coach.

"We were playing England in J-aipur our first clash since the 2005 Ashes, and nervously saying: 'what are they going to do this time?'

"Then, just before we warmed up, our bowling coach Troy Cooley said: 'Boys, today, eyes in the middle, no looking elsewhere. Just worry about us'.

"I'll never forget that. It was like a boxing glove came out and smacked me in the head and said : 'You idiot. That's what you were doing for the best part of three months in England - worrying about what the opponent is going to do'.

"It's no coincidence that Troy, a Tasmanian, had been England's bowling coach during the 2005 Ashes. They knew they had us worrying about them." Gilchrist, however, recalled the potent effect of reverse swing in their 2004 tour of India.

"There have always been theories about how to do it, but no team I've been in has worked it out. Sometimes we've stumbled on it. In India in 2004 we had a theory about keeping the ball dry.

"Warnie (Shane Warne) had a job of taking care of the ball, polishing it without adding any moisture, not even wanting sweaty hands to touch it, so we'd pass it in fingertips back to the bowler. We had it reversing well there," he said.