Gilchrist backs ageing Ponting
Mumbai - Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist expects a transitional Australian side to retain the services of Ricky Ponting for their home series against India starting this month.
Ponting, 36, Australia's leading Test run scorer, stepped down as captain after his team's quarter-final exit from the World Cup this year. He was replaced by Michael Clarke.
He has not scored a Test century since January last year although he scored 62 and 78 in his last two innings against South Africa and New Zealand respectively.
"I wouldn't expect him to be left out of the Indian series. He is keen to play," Gilchrist told reporters on Monday.
"His last two innings as a player have been as impressive as anything in quite a while. He is the second best player from Australia after Sir Don Bradman.
"He is the only one to know when he should finish international cricket...I am sure he will be featuring in that series."
Gilchrist, Australia's most successful wicketkeeper/batsman said India, who lost their world No 1 ranking when they were beaten 4-0 in England this year, now had their best chance to win a Test series in Australia for the first time.
A golden generation of Australian cricketers including Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist retired one after the other after their country had dominated world cricket for more than a decade.
"It's a good chance for India with Australia being through somewhat of a transitional period. They are still finding their way," Gilchrist said.
"India have got a few good results in the last couple of series (against Australia).
"I think Australia are aware of that. They need to be on top of their game to hold on to their record at home against India."
India will play four Tests in Australia, starting on December 26 in Melbourne, two Twenty20 matches and a one-day Tri-series, which will also feature Sri Lanka.