Adelaide: Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy said he believed Adam Gilchrist's recent spate of dropped catches was a major factor in his decision to retire after 96 Tests.
Gilchrist made the shock announcement here on Saturday evening after the third day's play in the fourth Test against India, curtailing one of the most celebrated careers in cricket history.
Gilchrist had dropped a sitter off V.V.S. Laxman on the first day of the match, after also dropping four catches in the controversial second Test in Sydney.
Healy, Gilchrist's predecessor with the gloves for Australia, said he didn't believe the dropped catches were the sole reason for the decision, but was sure they played a part.
"It hasn't forced the move, but I think it has made it very clear on what he should be doing," Healy told Channel Nine television.
"It cleared everything in his mind and he decided that's it, I haven't got the energy to get myself back up out of this sort of mini-glitch of form he is going through.
"I guess those thoughts are the things that have pushed him into that mini-glitch, because he is not a thoughtful cricketer, he is a very natural cricketer, he is an instinctive cricketer and that had been dulled a little bit for him."
Former Australian captain Kim Hughes was shocked by the news, but applauded Gilchrist's timing.
He agreed with Healy, believing Gilchrist's patchy form with the gloves was behind his retirement. "It's a surprise, but the timing is good I think."
"His form has been on the wane a bit, he dropped that catch the other day and those ones in Sydney and his footwork has never been his best strength, he told AFP.
"They've got Pakistan and then India later in the year and those tours are going to be hard, maybe he just doesn't feel like he can recharge his energy to face them. He said the other day his concentration was a bit of an issue."
Former Australian coach John Buchanan, who worked closely with Gilchrist, said he was leaving the game while he was still close to his peak.
"If you ever get the choice to do that, that's where you'd like to be."
"From a distance I think it's a wonderful time for him to finish as the world record holder in Test cricket.
"He's achieved everything he can in one-day cricket and it gives him a wonderful way to bid farewell to Australian cricket by travelling the country during the one dayers."
Gilchrist, who called time on his career the day after becoming the record holder for most Test dismissals with 414, will bow out after next month's triangular series with India and Sri Lanka.