Speaking on The Grade Cricketer podcast, former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist revisited his Twitter run-in with Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, which took place in August 2019.
The spat revolved around Gilchrist’s golden-duck dismissal by Harbhajan during the first innings of the Kolkata Test in 2001, with the Aussie stumper becoming part of the first Test hat-trick taken by an Indian bowler.
Gilchrist lamented the lack of DRS at the time, with replays showing he had inside-edged the Harbhajan delivery into his pads, but was given out anyway. Harbhajan replied: “U think u would have survived for long if not first ball ? Stop crying over these things mate..thought u would talk sense after ur playing days.. but few things never change u r the prime example of that. Always crying [sic]” and deleted the tweet not long after.
Regarded by many as one of the nicest men in cricket, Gilchrist’s social media presence since has seen him steer clear of any controversy, and he was asked whether the incident contributed to him reining himself in.
“I hadn’t stopped to reflect whether I’d been Turbanated, and actually been blown out of the water,” Gilchrist replied, before confirming there was no bad blood between him and Harbhajan. “No, I didn’t sit down and make an executive decision based on that little lovers’ tiff that we had there, I think we’re all OK, Harbhajan and I, after that.”
Gilchrist conceded that Harbhajan would always win the argument, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the decision. “Clearly, at the end of the day, he has always got the ultimate response,” he said. “No matter what I serve up on social media he just has to say, ‘Look in the scorebook champ. You’re the middle member of the first ever Indian hat-trick’. I’ve not really got much reply to that. But I’ll take that on notice and go and revisit my social media and see if I can crank something up, given the vast array of platforms that I’m operating on.”
However, Gilchrist reiterated that he felt the decision was the incorrect one. “I hit it,” he explained. “Just check the replays, see whether I smashed it into my pad as well. Other than that.. I think I might have been laughing walking off after that decision, just thinking how ridiculous that was! Anyway, he got a hat-trick, they won. They got the win.”
Gilchrist isn’t the first to question the decision, with Mark Waugh, his teammate at the time, recently branding it “the worst of all time”.
The Test is more well-known for VVS Laxman’s innings of 281, made when following on. India won the game despite the first-innings deficit, and went onto win the series 2-1, with Harbhajan taking 31 of the 50 Australian wickets to fall in the rubber.