Melbourne: Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist will captain his country in the third Test against the West Indies starting in Adelaide on Friday, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said.
Ricky Ponting will be vice-captain. Australia's regular captain Steve Waugh will miss the match due to a strained buttock muscle but is hopeful of returning for the fourth Test in Melbourne on December 26.
''It's almost like you're nominated by the Australian public to go out and lead the country and with that in mind it's just a wonderful moment for me today and I'm looking forward to Friday,'' Gilchrist told a news conference on Tuesday.
Gilchrist, 29, will be the first wicket-keeper to captain Australia in a test match since Barry Jarman, who in 1968 became the only wicket-keeper to fill the role for Australia in the 20th century.Australia, who have won a world record 12 consecutive Test matches, lead the five-match series against the Windies 2-0.Gilchrist, who made his test debut last summer in Brisbane in the first Test against Pakistan, said his rapid rise from debutant to captain had taken him by surprise.
Australia's 41st Test captain has played 11 Test matches, all in winning sides. ''I look back at being involved in first-class cricket for seven or eight years so I don't see it as such a rapid rise,'' Gilchrist said.''A few years in the (Australian) One-day side. But certainly in the last 12 months it's probably taken me by surprise a little bit.''He said he did not see Australia's world record of beating the Windies' mark of 11 consecutive Test wins set in the mid-1980s, as extra baggage.
It's a fairly easy team to play in at the moment. We're more excited about trying to push that record even further,'' Gilchrist said.Gilchrist replaced controversial leg-spinner Shane Warne as Waugh's vice-captain in August for a Limited Overs series in Melbourne against South Africa after the ACB tired of Warne's ability to attract headlines off the field.The latest drama involved Warne, Australia's most successful bowler with 366 Test wickets, leaving lewd telephone messages for a 22-year-old nurse in England.
Warne played for county side Hampshire this year.Warne, 31, is likely to miss the entire five-match series against the Windies because of a fractured spinning finger. Waugh, 35, was appointed captain in February last year to replace the retiring Mark Taylor.
He has stated he would like to play for several more years at the top level.Gilchrist said he had captained Western Australia in the past and the extra responsibility had not affected his ability to play as a specialist batsman and wicket-keeper, effectively a wicket-keeping all-rounder. (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions