NZ tour hurt my form: Gilchrist - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ tour hurt my form: Gilchrist

By James Dampney and John Coomber 30/01/2006 05:21:52 PM Comments (0)

Adam Gilchrist believes his form suffered after Cricket Australia insisted he tour New Zealand last December when he badly needed a rest.

The selectors decided to excuse the Australian vice-captain from the three-match one-day series but were overruled by CA, which wanted to maintain the integrity of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

"I felt it was a pretty good time to grab a breather and so did the selectors," Gilchrist said after leading Australia to a resounding win over Sri Lanka at the WACA.

"It's their job to pick this cricket team. That opportunity for them seemed to be taken away somewhat, so that added to the frustration I think.

"I probably didn't give myself much of a chance over there because I didn't deal with that very well."

Gilchrist, who has a heavy workload as wicketkeeper, vice-captain and key batsman in both Tests and one-day internationals, showed his tiredness with scores of 3, 8, and 0 in the Chappell-Hadlee series, which was wedged between Tests series against West Indies and South Africa.

Gilchrist was rested for two matches of the current tri-series and showed the value of time off by returning to make 34 and 116 in the latest two games - in which he was standing in as captain while Ricky Ponting was rested.

"There's no doubt it helped me immensely, as it has done for the previous four years," he said.

"That's probably what catches me by surprise, that people are questioning a couple of guys having a rest.

"We've done this for a long time now, particularly in my position.

"People are making comment and passing judgement, that's fine.

"We're trying to manage our team the best way we feel possible, for the short term and the long term."

Gilchrist and Simon Katich have been pencilled in as the preferred openers for Australia's World Cup campaign next year.

They put their case resoundingly with a partnership of 191 in 32 overs, the third-highest opening stand in Australia's one-day history.

Gilchrist's 116 came off just 105 balls while Katich made 82 off 110 balls, his highest score in a one-day international.

He now is Australia's leading run-scorer in the tri-series.

"Kat's been the consistent performer in our partnerships," Gilchrist said.

"He's not as explosive and dynamic as what many people may have seen from other players around.

"But he's learning it and growing into that position.

"He's a very, very tough character.

"He's had an interesting ride through Test selection and one-day selection.

"Rightly or wrongly he seems to have been left out just when he's about to burst through and other times seems to be struggling but selectors show faith in him.

"They continue to do that now and they know his character and that he's got the game to evolve into whatever they're asking.

"He's shown a great test of character in that spotlight this week."

Gilchrist said he wanted to remain as opener in the one-day game because he felt it was the best use of his own talents.

"I just think it maintains the best balance for our team with me at the top," he said.

"And I love doing it. I do cherish it.

"If there's a time, and there will be I'm sure, when there's a better option, you can't begrudge a guy like [Phil] Jaques or Matty Hayden, who I think is still a very viable option for one-day cricket.

"If a guy comes along who's better and the selectors ask me to go down the order, I'd do it.

"But I didn't feel the time's right now and they obviously didn't."

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