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Adam Gilchrist vs Wally Hammond

Which would add more value to the median Test team?

  • Total voters

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
What is a median test team?
If you ranked every Test from best to worst, the median Test team would be the one right in the middle.

Would the average side benefit more from an ATG batsman who could bowl a bit and field in slips, or the best WKB of all time?

Gilchrist would make less runs but allow a team to either bat deeper or pick an extra bowling option.

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
No only to the median test team but to almost any test team(except the worst ones), Gilchrist adds far more value.
Yeah Hammond would end up a frontline bowler for the absolute worst ones so it does change things there. The current Bangladesh team for example would benefit heaps more from Hammond's bowling than Gilly's keeping, especially since they have Rahim and Das already - and that's before even considering that Hammond will make more runs. But it becomes more in Gilchrist's favour as the standard of the team goes up.

I've gone with Hammond here anyway.
Last edited:


International Coach
Not sure if I'll be able to articulate this as it is in my head, but I think for a median team, Hammond easily wins this. Gilchrist's value comes in a very good batting line up where by the time he comes in he just piles on and breaks their spirit. Not sure how he would perform under constant pressure and responsibility. In that scenario you're taking away what made him special and the weapon he was.
Hammond brings an ATG bat, ATG at slip and a very good 1st change bowler. Can't beat that for utility and quality.

Adorable Asshole

International Regular
An ATG top order bat + a good fifth bowler + a good slip fielder. Hammond adds more value to the median side. Gilchrist more to a very good side.
He wasn't. A good fifth bowler is someone like Stokes or Kallis. Not a guy who averages less than 1 WPM.


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Interesting question.

I think if both sides today were offered one of the two, they'd probably go Gilchrist. And certainly the Australia of Gilchrist's era got a lot more out of him than they would've Hammond.

Equally though, to a weak-ish side Hammond's strengths become a lot more obvious. For a side with weak bowlers he could legitimately open the bowling in some circumstances (ditto if he was playing for a side stacked with great spinners), and would make for a handy 1st/2nd change bowler for a more middle of the road one. Add that he'd in theory be one of the best batsman in the world and that probably adds more to sides than Gilchrist's h4x counter-attackingness at 7 (unless the side had a completely awful keeper).

So would probably agree that while Gilchrist would make a good side great more effectively, Hammond would probably be the more effective for the median side.

a massive zebra

International Captain
Hammond comfortably. Significantly better batsman, one of the best slip fielders ever, a useful fifth bowler.

Hammonds batting >> Gilchrist's batting
Hammond's slip fielding + bowling = Gilchrist's keeping


State Regular
After Sobers and Bradman, Gilchrist is the 3rd most likely player to make an AT Test X1. He is unrivalled in his playing role. Greatest wkt-bat by a huge margin.


Audio File
It might be England-tinted glasses talking but I feel like it's a lot more common for a modern Test team to have good lower-middle order players who can keep wicket than they have solid top order long form batsmen. Probably because middle order dashers who keep wicket are usually batting top five in one day/t20 and it's just a more viable career thing.

England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are teams that strike me as crying out for a proven top four bat and all have pretty promising or good wicketkeeper bats. South Africa and India probably the same if QdK and Pant weren't out of the side for non-cricketing reasons. West Indies just need more batting as top priority in general. Probably only Australia would rather have a great keeper-bat than #3 come into the team.


International Captain
I tend to rate WK bats more on the batting side (obviously no Kamran Akmals though, have to meet a decent standard), as I think the keeping side is both the more subjective, and in a way more uniformly distributed of the two talents.

That said, you have to consider who they are replacing. Gilly would replace the teams current WK, Hammond would replace the team's least useful Specialist bat/batting all-rounder. I daresay even with a bit extra value from keeping, there are some really poor Specialist bats in average Test teams, and Hammond's extra batting would go a long way in improving that, even more than the extra batting and WK Gilly adds over your current keeper.

Of course, all assuming that Hammond's skills translate, but yeah that caveat could be added to all super old timey players, especially the Pre WWII ones.