Gilchrist backs Hayden for another Ashes tour

August 29th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 29 (IANS) Legendary Australian batsman and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has backed former teammate Matthew Hayden to go on and complete a fourth Ashes tour next year.Hayden has battled several leg complaints in the past 18 months, the latest a slow-healing Achilles tendon injury that will keep him sidelined from the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin, beginning Saturday.

Whether Hayden can remain fit will be an interesting sub-plot of a hectic schedule from October, including nine Tests in three months. But the retired Gilchrist said Hayden, 37 in October, would go to England in May.

“I think he has the desire to get there and I wouldn’t back against him,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

“He is as mentally tough as anyone. He just knows his game, knows himself, knows what he needs to do with his preparation so well. If he wants to achieve something, he can almost get narrow-minded about it. Not in an arrogant or disrespectful sense, but he can focus in on it,” Gilchrist said.

“That’s what he does. He tends to be able to realise if he focuses on his role, that’s going to be to the team’s greatest benefit,” he added.

Hayden had the courage to play with a broken foot during the 2007 World Cup.

But last summer he had his streak of 86 successive Tests, the seventh longest in history, broken when he missed the Perth clash against India because of a hamstring strain.

He later hurt his Achilles tendon while training with Indian Premier League club Chennai Super Kings, an injury that forced him to miss all three Tests in the Caribbean in June.

“Obviously he is taking his time to get this injury right,” Gilchrist said. “I would say he is doing that because he sees he has a reasonable amount of time left in the game, otherwise I don’t think he would be investing all the time and effort into it to get it right.”

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