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Gilchrist tips Ponting as next Test captain
March 14, 2003 18:07 IST
Adam Gilchrist has tipped Australia one-day captain Ricky Ponting to take over the leadership of the Test side when Stephen Waugh retires.
Gilchrist, vice-captain of both the Test and one-day sides and who has led Australia in two Tests when Waugh was injured, said on Friday: "It's pretty obvious who will be Test captain when the opportunity comes.
"Punter (Ricky Ponting) is the main man there," he told reporters after a World Cup training session.
"He has done an outstanding job and whether it is now or later on that is my speculation, not my position."
Waugh has yet to announce whether he will be available to tour the West Indies, with the squad set to be named early next week.
Gilchrist has been Waugh's vice-captain at Test level since November 2000. He led the side against the West Indies in December 2000 and England in August 2001.
The selectors overlooked him for the one-day captaincy, however, when Waugh was dropped from the team in February 2002. Under Ponting, Australia have won a world record 14 matches in a row.
There is little doubt Gilchrist would like the Test captaincy but he is realistic enough to recognise Ponting's recent performances have put him at the head of the queue.
Gilchrist is also aware the selectors are reluctant to overburden him with extra responsibility, given his pivotal role as both a leading batsman and wicketkeeper.
"The prime candidate is Ricky because he is an outstanding captain and he has grown into the leadership role, not just the captaincy, during this tournament," said Gilchrist.
"That is a definite option the selectors have."
Despite the speculation over the Test captaincy, Gilchrist said he had no idea what Waugh would do.
"I don't think anyone has been in contact with Tugga (Waugh) since we left as it was always a time for him to go away and think about it...he will let us know over the next few days," said Gilchrist.
"It has been discussed by the boys here and we are as interested as everyone else in the cricket world.
"It is a big decision either way but no one knows anything and there are varying opinions as to what Stephen might do."
Australia had an optional practice session on Friday ahead of their final World Cup Super Six match against Kenya in Durban on Saturday.
Gilchrist said Australia might delay naming their side until the morning of the match as they were waiting to confirm the fitness of all rounder Andrew Symonds, who has missed the last two games with a groin injury.
Both teams have already qualified for the semi-finals.
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