The future of Jason Gillespie

Jason Gillespie's Ashes series is pretty much over. Series figures of 67-6-300-3 do not fool anyone. Unfortunately, many are predicting the permanent demise of this fine bowler.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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/

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Paul W said...

Hi Neil, I wonder if you'd agree with me here? I think one of Gillespie's main issues right now is that he's dropped a metre or two in pace over the last few years. He was in the mid 140s; now he's around the late 130s. That means he's now fast medium at best now, rather than genuinely quick.

Also, I wish he'd trim that mullet off. Maybe that's affecting his pace? :)

One Salient Oversight said...

Well as a good New Zealander you probably know that Richard Hadlee dropped his pace after he turned 30 - and was actually a better bowler.

I think Gillespie has certainly slowed down, but he hasn't compensated by moving the ball around or other things that Hadlee did - yet.

I remember seeing Gillespie in his ODI debut. He had a ponytail that reached his waist. I think he should go for that look again!

Paul W said...

Good point. I remember when I was a child Chatfield and Hadlee headed the NZ bowling attack. They certainly weren't express pace, but Hadlee was like MacGrath, he "intimidated" because he never gave batsman any respite in terms of accuracy and skill. And Chatfield was the perfect foil for Hadlee at the other end: he was like a bowling machine.

In your own country, Craig McDermott was an example of where this was true as well. Like Gillespie, his form tailed off until he was dropped. But he came as a better bowler after a few seasons to spearhead the Australian attack.