Melbourne: The Australian players might have been better served by chilling out a bit during the eight-day break before the third Test against India, 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 he said his players not just played cricket but also explored the country a great deal and that 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 '04," the former stumper was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Gilchrist said touring India could be very demanding and it's important for a player to take some time off cricket and explore tourist sites.
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."
The Australians then used a seven-day gap between the second and third matches to do their own exploring. Michael Clarke's side, by contrast, hit the nets straightaway after the crushing defeat 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.