The Australia wicketkeeper’s exhilarating batting, selfless and straightforward, has altered the form of both Test and one-day cricket.
He has scored more runs and more centuries than any other keeper and has done so at a staggering strike rate of over 80 runs per 100 balls in Tests and ODIs.
So phenomenal is Gilchrist's record, it now appears a mistake for Australia to have kept faith with gloveman Ian Healy for so long.
He is also one of the few modern players to walk, even doing it when given not out in the 2003 World Cup semi-final.
He rarely misses chances behind the stumps but is probably past his best as a keeper although his glovework to Shane Warne has always been good.
Gilchrist struggled for runs during the 2005 Ashes series as England - and especially Andrew Flintoff - bowled around the wicket to him and set ingenious fields to nullify his potency.
He returned to form in the 2006/7 Ashes with a brilliant hundred in Perth - just missing out on the fastest Test century ever made.
In 2007 he claimed a third World Cup winners' medal, smashing 149 from 104 balls in the final against Sri Lanka.
Gilchrist announced he would retire from international cricket - at the end of the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series - the day after passing Mark Boucher’s record for most Test dismissals.