Gilchrist backs skipper despite poor form

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Adelaide, Feb 16 (UNI) Retiring Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist believes skipper Ricky Ponting's current dip in form is a result of added pressure due to the controversies which arose during the home series against India.

''I'm sure he, like all of us, will have been worn down by a lot of the focus, a lot of the issues that have been around,'' Gilchrist said. ''It seems just to jump from one thing to the other, whether they're highly controversial or just issues that need to be dealt with.'' Ponting made 25 in Australia's CB series win over Sri Lanka at Perth, following scores of zero, nine and nine in the previous three matches.

''Things like the Pakistan tour hanging around, the uncertainty about that, the IPL (Indian Premier League), the Indian Test series and all the issue there in the hearing, he's had to take the brunt of most of it,'' he added.

''So I think we've got to acknowledge that he does that and he stands up and wants to do it, he acknowledges that that's his job.'' Complimenting Ponting's captaincy Gilchrist said,''He is still running the team beautifully, captaining. Still very much Ricky Ponting.

''So (we) try to rally around him and keep him going, but he's a class act, he'll be fine.'' UNI XC AB RKM GC2010

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