Dropping Symonds was right: Gilchrist

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/g/gilchrist1_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Dropping Symonds for the India-Australia Test series was not a bad decision if it was felt that he was not focused on the team, according to Gilchrist.

Updated: September 19, 2008 17:55 IST
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Dropping all-rounder Andrew Symonds for the upcoming India-Australia Test series was not a bad decision if it was felt that he was not focused on the team, retired Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist said on Tuesday.

"It will be a major blow not to have him in the squad, but if he was not focused on the team it was not a bad decision," Gilchrist, who played 96 Tests for Australia, said.

Symonds was dropped from the squad which will tour India after he chose to go on a fishing trip instead of attending a team meeting prior to a match against Bangladesh last month.

"He (Symonds) has to make sure that no one takes his spot in the team. May be being dropped for the series is a good thing for him to get himself mentally and physically fit to return to the team," Gilchrist said.

The former Australian Test vice-captain said that it was likely that the cricket administration in Australia and others had felt that the all-rounder had been given a chance before he was dropped for the series.

Gilchrist said he was confident Brad Haddin, his replacement in the team, would fill the void created by his own retirement coupled with Symonds' absence.

The hard-hitting wicket-keeeper batsman, with an average of 47.60 in Tests and 35.89 in ODIs, said he had decided to quit after he felt he was not giving everything to playing international cricket.

"There wasn't a 100 per cent desire and commitment to being an international cricketer," Gilchrist said about his decision to call it quits from the international arena.

He began thinking about it after dropping a catch of VVS Laxman who nicked a Brett Lee delivery during the last series between the two teams in Australia, the New South Welshman said.

Gilchrist said he was happy with the decision he took and was now looking forward to the Indian Premier League.

When asked if senior Indian players, particularly "The Fab Four" should also consider retirement, Gilchrist said, "Only those players know if they have the desire to produce, not just for individual statistics, but doing all that they can to ensure the team wins."

It's a delicate situation since there were a lot of emerging young players and the selectors had perhaps shown their inclination by not including Sourav Ganguly for the Border-Gavaskar Test contest, he said.

Gilchrist also said it was important to include cricket in the Olympics to increase the longevity of the game.

"The Olympics would be a great way to promote the game to the world," he said.

"The Olympics perhaps is not as important in this region as others and what better way to promote it here than with cricket," Gilchrist said, adding that both cricket and the Olympics would benefit.

If the Twenty20 format were to be included it would not be too much of a strain for cricket boards to make time for it in the cricketing calender since it would last only a little over a fortnight, he explained.

Speaking about the recent experiment with the umpires' referral system during the Indian tour of Sri Lanka, Gilchrist said he was not inclined towards it.

"I am yet to be convinced it is the positive way for cricket forward," he said about the system.

After being at the receiving end of some umpiring decisions on the Lanka tour, Indian captain Anil Kumble was not in favour of it but his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahela Jayawardhane saw its positive side.

"Mistakes will be made in the middle but we live with it," Gilchrist said, adding there was a lot of technology in the game but not all situations could be completely dealt with it.

The former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman said that Indian ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni fully deserved the title of the 'Best ODI Player' and was an exciting cricketer to watch.

Along with his ODI and Twenty20 captaincy it was also inevitable that Dhoni would soon be the captain of the Test team and had shown the characteristics to be able to do it well too, Gilchrist said.

"Anil Kumble does a fine job as captain but Dhoni has the ability to galvanise the team," Gilchrist said.

Dhoni showed calmness in tight situations and never let himself or his team lose control of their emotions which was impressive, he said, adding his performance was noteworthy for maintaining a good batting and wicketkeeping record.

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