Captain says both could play for another two years April 29, 2007

Hayden and Gilchrist not finished yet

Cricinfo staff

Keep going: Ricky Ponting wants his two opening batsmen to push on after the World Cup © AFP

Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist should delay their retirements for at least two years, according to the captain Ricky Ponting. As Australia's new line-up begins to take shape after a season of departures, Ponting has extra need for two of his major weapons to continue helping with the transition.

Shane Warne, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn retired during the home summer and Glenn McGrath signed off with Australia's third consecutive World Cup win. However, Ponting said Gilchrist had not outlined his plans, and he has often been worn down by the demands of playing both Tests and ODIs.

"I am not sure what Gilly is going to do," Ponting said in the Sunday Mail. "There was some talk a couple of years ago, even a year ago, that this [World Cup] was going to be his last one-day tournament, but I haven't heard anything about that here. I would think he would be pretty keen to play on in Tests."

If the players consider their workloads too heavy they can drop their limited-overs commitments. "Matty, just having got back into the one-day side, I don't think he is willing to give it away yet, especially the way he is playing," Ponting said. "He is probably in the form of his life so I wouldn't imagine his one-day career is going to finish too soon.

"I would like to see both of those guys push on for another couple of years. They are not only great mates of mine but great team-mates." Australia have a break until the Twenty20 world championship in September, which starts a hectic program that includes a record-breaking number of Tests in 2008.