India’s star batsman Virat Kohli, who is also the Test captain of the national side, has set a benchmark for cricketers and accordingly has been praised by many. Kohli made his international debut in 2008 and his rise has been rapid as a cricketer across the formats. When it comes to praising him, Kohli has probably got the most number of applauds from Australian cricketers and in this league, one of the greatest wicketkeeper of Australia Adam Gilchrist has also joined. Gilchrist, who is known for his destructive opening batting in One-Dayers, was in Mumbai for a promotional event.

Gilchrist is in Mumbai to attend a promotional event and opened up on the comparison between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. “They are different types of players. Virat is the ‘next generation’ player. As an opponent you may feel like he will offer you a chance, but that comes with a risk too. He can take it away from you quickly. Sachin, on the other hand, was so clinical. So often you felt like you just won’t get him out, dislodge him. He would just build, build, and build. He is the best player I have played against, but I think by the end of Virat’s career, his record and the way he is regarded in the cricketing world will right up there, close to Sachin,” Gilchrist said in an exclusive interview to Times of India.

The 44-year old Australia further spoke about India’s Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who has donning the job of wicketkeeper-batsman since MS Dhoni‘s retirement from the longest format of the game and added, “He’s a terrific cricketer. He clearly picks himself in the team both as a keeper and as a batsman. I believe that he has a professional, strong work ethic. He looks like a valuable member of any teams that he has been a part of. He is an exciting player.”

Coming to the ongoing Test series between India and England, Gilchrist predicted and said, “England have started well. I do not think it’s easy to predict anything about Test cricket at the moment. India have obviously been dominant at home, but they have instantly been challenged by a team which just lost to a team knows as the ‘minnows’ in Bangladesh. They could have lost 0-2, but they drew the series 1-1. Its al unpredictable…and I think that’s exciting at the moment, the fact that you’re going into a series and even days of cricket not knowing what the end result is going to be, and that’s what will make people want to continue to follow it and watch it. When it becomes predictable, that’s when it loses its excitement.”

Further, Gilchrist also spoke about India’s new domestic sensation Rishabh Pant. The teenage prodigy is already being tipped as Dhoni’s replacement in limited-overs cricket and recently smashed the fastest hundred by an Indian in First-Class cricket.

Gilchrist dismissed the comparison, “My take is that he seems to be contributing. He has been an inspirational leader. Just in the recent series, he played a couple of big hands in winning games. What is the rush to push him out? Virat (Kohli) has assumed the Test captaincy brilliantly. Might be a nice smooth, slow transition to allow Virat to settle into that role and then assume ODI captaincy. I do not know whether the talent at the next level is so compelling that they need to move players on. If that is the case, that’s a tough decision for the selectors. I think MS is still offering plenty. He has earned the right to be able to play in the twilight of his career as long as he’s contributing.”

Gilchrist also spoke about Australia‘s dismal run in international cricket. They were whitewashed by Sri Lanka 0-3 and suffered another whitewash in the ODI series against South Africa 0-5. They also lost the first Test of the ongoing Test series against South Africa.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. I think they are possibly just losing the big 50-50 moments in Tests recently. In all those games, they were in a position where if they just continue on, they would be dominating those games and close them out. Certainly, in Sri Lanka in a first couple of Tests they were in a strong position after the first innings, and at Perth, they were in a very strong position against South Africa. Credit to SA and Sri Lanka too. They fought back, didn’t crumble, and wrestled back that initiative. SA did that really well at Perth. They made the necessary adjustments to their batting to mount that big total. To me, the Australian team is learning as its progressing. Steven Smith is learning about his captaincy role, and his own technique. I am not criticising them at all. The reality is that they are learning as they go. After every game, they’ll be more improved in understanding in what they’ve got to do to be successful.”

Gilchrist also did not rule out his involvement in the sport and we may see him don some role at some point of time. However he has a young family and that is his priority at the moment.