I personally think that Gillespie still has much to offer, but I think that he should put out of his mind any thoughts of an early Test recall. These are my thoughts on the issue.
- He should retire from One-Day International cricket immediately. I think Shane Warne has become a better bowler since he retired from ODIs, and I think Gillespie will as well.
- He should not offer himself up for selection for the Australian Test side until October 2006. That's more than a year away, but it is not retirement.
- In that time he should aim to complete a full season playing for South Australia as they attempt to win the Sheffield Shield. A full season playing 10 first class matches will allow Gillespie to "go back to the basics" and regain form and confidence as he plays against lesser abled opposition. This is what they should have done to Brett Lee last season rather than employing him as a glorified drinks waiter.
- During the Australian winter, Gillespie should make a serious attempt at playing English county cricket. He's in England now, and should try to approach a county about the possibility of playing next year. English county cricket is gruelling because it is cricket day-in day-out and, while I think Australian Shield cricket is of a higher standard, County cricket is getting quite strong because of all the Kolpak players. Gillespie needs to prove himself both as a wicket-taker and as being able to play a lot of matches, and English County cricket will give him that chance (16 first-class + lots of List A matches).
- Once he finishes his county stint, he can return to Australia and play for South Australia again, but this time making himself available for Australian selection. Hopefully, with lots of wickets behind him from the previous 12 months, he can make a strong case.
From the This Salient Sportinglife Department
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.