Dave Noonan

Haddin repays the faith

ADAM GILCHRIST knew it was just a matter of time before Brad Haddin proved his worth at Test level.

With his successor struggling for form since rising into the Australian cricket team, Gilchrist refused to buy into any suggestions that Haddin wasn't the right man to fill his gloves.

In Lismore last week, Gilchrist publicly threw his weight behind Haddin.

“I've got absolute faith he's going to be successful (in the Test team),” Gilchrist said.

“He had a tough initiation on the pitches of India and the West Indies.

“They are tough places to keep. He'll ease into it now.”

And ease into it he did.

Just two days after the comments were made, Haddin proved Gilchrist right, blasting his maiden Test century to give Australia a dominant lead over New Zealand in the Second Test at Adelaide Oval yesterday.

And to help celebrate Haddin's feat, Channel 9 interviewed Gilchrist from the stands.

“With this 100 he's going to gain in confidence,” Gilchrist told the live television audience.

“He'll come into that role whether it be with the bat or the gloves.”

While in Lismore, Gilchrist also said that he believed Australia was still the number one Test nation despite their recent 2-0 loss to India.

“I don't think anyone can say (India is the best). I think Australia still deserve to be ranked number one,” he said.

“England beat us in 2005 but that didn't make them number one.

“The challenge is to sustain it for a long time like Australia has.

“India will face the same challenges as us. They'll be losing about 50 per cent of their players (to retirement) in the next few years.”

But Australia still has earned the mantle of world's best.

“This team is in a transitional period where they're still realising the full extent of losing none less than Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne - they're the one's who win matches,” Gilchrist said.

“There's no secret that we don't have ready-made replacements.

“We've been spoilt for choice.

“Now it's a case of finding the right balance.

“Ricky Ponting is doing his best.

“He gives his life to that team and there's no grounds to question that.”

“I've got absolute faith he's going to be successful”



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