Former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who is most commonly considered as the best wicket-keeper in cricket history, 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, the 45-year-old believes Tait`s spell in a one-off T20I match against New Zealand at the WACA in 2007 was the sharpest he has ever kept to.
It should be noted that only months prior, Tait had undergone surgery on his troublesome right elbow, which had ruled him 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,” cricket.com.au quoted Gilchrist as saying.
“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.