Friday, October 8, 2010

Laxman an unsung star, says Gilchrist

 V. V. S. Laxman is the unsung hero of Indian cricket because by his nature itself he doesn’t express himself to the outside world and he is not a billboard cricketer making headlines with all those endorsements, says Adam Gilchrist, former Australia captain while referring to the Hyderabadi’s match-winning effort against Australia in the first Test in Mohali recently.

“But, when it comes to skills, it is very obvious that VVS enjoys the challenge of facing a crisis. It is a pity that he remains the unsung star of Indian batting line-up which includes Sachin, Rahul, Virender (Sehwag) and earlier Saurav,” Gilchrist pointed out during his private visit to Hyderabad as brand ambassador of University of Wollongong (Sydney) here on Friday.

“VVS is a very, very good cricketer who always does well under pressure, especially against the Australians. He is one of the very few batsmen in world cricket who has the rival captains struggling to set the field for him. He makes batting look so easy even in adversity,” says Gilchrist.

“From my very close association with VVS with the Deccan Chargers in the last three years I found him to be a fantastic cricketer and a great human being,” were the huge compliments of the Deccan Chargers captain.

Referring to Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s comments that India is a place he has never mastered, Gilchrist termed it as a very interesting comment. “I could not make it out what he meant by mastering. Ricky started off with a fantastic century in the first Test on the last tour and scored 71 in the first Test on this tour. May be, he is not happy with his performances in India compared to the other parts of the world,” says the former Aussie wicketkeeper.

On Australian cricket, Gilchrist reiterated that it is still going through the transition phase which saw quality cricketers including two of the best bowlers ever Glen McGrath and Shane Warne quit the sport. “But, I still believe this Australian side is extremely talented and I have high regard for Ponting’s leadership qualities,” he said.

“It should not be forgotten that Aussies are up against India, the No.1 Test team in the world. The Indians have gone through the grind to attain this thoroughly deserving status. They have the rare ability to create success and confidence now at the highest level,” Gilchrist said.

Referring to the IPL auction scheduled next month, Gilchrist said given the option he would love to play for Deccan Chargers again. “It was a frustrating first year, successful second year when we won the Cup and a satisfying third edition when we reached the semi-final,” he pointed out. “Well, I have given my thoughts on the IPL to Mr. Sunil Gavaskar and it is good that the players inputs were sought about how the next edition of IPL should be. Personally, I believe that the franchisees should be given the right to retain some players,” he said to a query.

On the Decision Review System in cricket, Gilchrist bluntly said that he was not a big fan of DRS. “Let the field umpires make the call,” he added.

The gentleman-cricketer also made light of the reported ‘duel’ between Ricky Ponting and Zaheer Khan in the first Test in Mohali in the on-going series saying that too much should not be read into this. “This is reflective of the intense competitive spirit and the great rivalry between the two teams which is very near to the Ashes battle between England and Australia. And, when the two teams take on I think it should come out of respect for each other’s ability rather than anything else,” he explained.


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