A file photo of Australia captain Michael Clarke. (Getty Images)
Melbourne: The Australian players might have been better served by using the eight-day break before the third Test against India by taking their minds off cricket, feels former great Adam Gilchrist.
Gilchrist was at the helm when Australia triumphed in the Indian sub-continent in 2004, the first time in 40 years, and the former stumper said his players going off on different directions during the break between the second and third game worked for them.
"Sometimes it gets to a point where you do need that time to clear your head and get away from it. India is that sort of venue that for all the wonderful things about India - the intrigue, and the fascinating country that it is - I find it is a place that becomes all-consuming and not just in a cricket sense," Gilchrist said.
"It consumes every part of your day and your night and your life, such is the passion and the intensity of the place. So to get away and make a clean break for the purposes of freshening up for a new challenge there, I found it extremely beneficial and I think our team prospered from that in 2004," Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Gilchrist, who stood in for the injured Ricky Ponting then, flew to Singapore during that break to see his family, while others took off for Goa or Mumbai. "It really added a freshness to the tour and gave us the spark that we needed to get us back into that tour. I think that was of vital importance. Yes, we were 1-0 up but the Chennai Test, which was our second Test, was a really hard-fought, close match in the balance going into the last day and then it washed out.
"When we got back together it just felt like a new tour, a fresh, new beginning where we were obviously aware of the scoreline but catching up with each other was exciting," he said.
The Australians then used a seven-day gap between the second and third Test to take off in their own directions. Michael Clarke's side, by contrast, hit the nets straight away after the crushing defeat in the second Test in Hyderabad.
"The boys jumped into the nets [in Hyderabad] I believe half-an-hour or an hour after the game finished and the next day they were in there again," Gilchrist said.