Matthew Hayden, who scored 117, felt he played well against New Zealand after his two early reprieves © Getty Images

Adam Gilchrist believes Matthew Hayden is the right man to partner him at the top of the order at the World Cup. Gilchrist said Hayden's 117 against New Zealand at the WACA was a turning point for Hayden's endangered one-day career.

"I fully expect Haydos to go to the World Cup," Gilchrist said. "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 Simon Katich and Shane Watson over the past year, but he said he was comfortable with Hayden. "It feels like it has worked well when we have played together," he said. "He is terrific to bat with and I think we complement each other pretty well."

Ricky Ponting also supported Hayden after the eight-run victory. "I think Matty started the series off really well, but let a couple of scores get away," he said. "Today was exactly what he was after and what the team was after. We can all look forward to some more big scores from him in the next couple of weeks."

Hayden said he was thrilled to reach his first century since February 2005. "It was pretty frustrating at the start and you could say it was lucky, but from the time I was dropped that second time it was a good performance," he said. "It was good to put a big score on the board."

Hayden said he never lost the belief he could succeed in one-day internationals, despite his extended absence from the team after being dropped in 2005. "It has been a frustrating few years - my record doesn't lie," he said. "When I was dropped I had a very good record."