Legendary former Australian wicketkeeper and batsman Adam Gilchrist, who was highly regarded as one of the best wicket-keepers in the sport, has singled out an exhilarating spell from Shaun Tait as the fastest he has ever witnessed from behind the stumps.
Despite having the pleasure of facing and keeping to some of the fastest bowlers in his illustrious career in all formats, the 45-year-old believes that it was Tait's spell in a one-off T20I match against New Zealand at the WACA in 2007, was the sharpest Gilchrist has ever kept to. Adam has faced all sorts of bowling techniques behind the stumps such as Shane Warne's leg break spin, Glen Mcgrath's medium pace and Brett Lee's pace, but it was Tait's deliveries that night that Gilchrist would never forget.
Tait had undergone surgery on his troublesome right elbow, which ruled the pacer out of the inaugural World T20 earlier that year.
"Tait bowling at the WACA down-breeze. Evening.T20. Knowing he's only got four overs max to bowl. That was probably the fastest spell of bowling that I've kept to," as media reports suggest.
"Keeping to Tait that day reminded me of the joy of keeping. Standing so far back and just the fun. Wondering what's coming, where it's going. Diving around and having a laugh while you're doing it," Gilchrist added.
However, Tait's efforts in his T20I debut match against the Black Caps were overshadowed by a suggestion from the then New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori that "questions are always asked" about the legality of bowling actions that generate extreme pace.
Tait, who was outraged by the suggestion, described the talk over his bowling action "a disgrace" and decided to undergo International Cricket Council (ICC) test.
While he returned to Australia's Test team in January that summer, he sidelined himself for rest of the season shortly after, citing emotional and physical exhaustion.
(With ANI Inputs)