'Gilly will blast back with the bat' - Healy December 1, 2006

Haddin puts pressure on struggling Gilchrist

Cricinfo staff

Adam Gilchrist has averaged only 25 since the start of last year's Ashes series © Getty Images

Adam Gilchrist must bounce back with the bat this summer or risk intense scrutiny on his place in the Australia team, according to his predecessor Ian Healy. Gilchrist, who made a third-ball 0 in the first Test against England, has made only one Test century in the last 18 months.

Healy said while Gilchrist was a great player and was likely to strike form soon, Brad Haddin was doing everything in his power to push his name in front of the selectors. Haddin averaged 51.41 in the Pura Cup last season and kicked off 2006-07 with a score of 139 in his second match.

"Brad Haddin is putting big pressure on him and keeping supremely," Healy told the Sydney radio station 2KY. "If [Gilchrist] doesn't bounce back in this series, we can appreciate that he is in decline I'd reckon, because you know, Adam Gilchrist doesn't fail. No great player fails for too long if their mind is on the job."

But Healy said it was premature to say Gilchrist was on the wane, despite the fact that since the start of last year's Ashes series in England, Gilchrist has played 18 Tests but has passed fifty only three times and averages 25.84, well below his career average of 48.33.

"I'm pretty sure he is not at his peak with the bat but I don't think we can say decline just yet," Healy said. "Gilly, no he's not in decline. He'll blast back into our minds. He made 130 in 90 balls [for Western Australia two weeks ago] against Queensland. He can do that in Test cricket."