| GILLESPIE: Eager to contribute with bat too
Johannesburg: Australian quick Jason Gillespie has vowed that his years of injury-induced misery will serve as the ideal platform for his personal assault in the World Cup.
In three games so far, the 27-year-old has snared six wickets including a fiery three for 13 that ripped the heart out of India’s batting at the Centurion a week ago.
His performances have also outshone those of fellow pacemen Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee, both of whom were widely touted to be the men causing the real damage at this tournament.
“With my past, I’ve missed a lot of cricket and I’m trying to make up for lost time, so to speak. I don’t want to have any bad games. I want to be very consistent,” said Gillespie who has endured extensive periods on the sidelines since making his debut in 1996.
“I just want to play a big part in victories, obviously with the ball. But if I can contribute with the bat and in the field too, that’s what I want to do,” added the man who spent almost a year out of the game after the 1997 Ashes series with stress fractures in his back.
Then on the tour of Sri Lanka in 1999 he broke his leg in a sickening outfield collision with skipper Steve Waugh.
Since then his progress has been hampered by a succession of niggles involving ankle, calf and shoulder injuries with his ill-fortune illustrated by an left elbow knock he suffered in January which resulted in torn ligaments.
Gillespie blamed the ground staff at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the injury after he slipped on a delivery in the final Ashes Test.
“It gets frustrating. It really shouldn’t have happened. The footmarks were quite deep. The groundsmen repaired them, but I didn’t think they repaired them properly and it was very slippery out there.”
Despite initial fears that his World Cup could be over before it began, he recovered and is now looking ahead to causing more destruction with McGrath and Lee.
“Jason and I have formed a pretty good combination,” McGrath said.
“He gets good bounce, is pretty accurate and is a bit quicker than I am. If he builds up pressure like he can do, and can take early wickets like we have done together, it really puts the pressure back on our opponents.”