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Gilchrist backs Hayden

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 13:26 IST
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Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist believes Matthew Hayden is the right man to partner him at the top of the order at the upcoming World Cup.

Hayden made the most of three missed chances, two before he reached double figures, to score his first one-day international century in almost two years against New Zealand here on Sunday.

Hayden's 117 against the Black Caps was his first substantial score in the tri-series, having controversially been recalled to the Australian side for the tournament.

Gilchrist believes the century was the turning point for Hayden's endangered one-day career and said he was confident the big left-hander would be his opening partner in the West Indies.

"I fully expect Haydos to go to the World Cup," Gilchrist said here today.

"I think he is re-establishing himself at the top of the order very well and he'll be much better for the innings the other night.

"We started this series well by way of partnerships, and haven't had too many big ones since then, but that is something we will work on.

"It was really pleasing to see Haydos come through with an individual result. Hopefully that will settle him down and keep the concerns away about what that (opening) partnership is going to be."

Gilchrist has opened with the forgotten Simon Katich and the injury-plagued Queensland all-rounder Shane Watson recently, batting with Watson at last year's Champions Trophy.

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