Hyderabad: India deserves to be the top Test side as it is "way ahead" of any cricketing nation, but the team should be wary of Australians who can beat any one on a given day, wicket-keeping great Adam Gilchrist said.
"The one team that is a long way ahead of any other team is India, and deservedly so, is the number one ranking test side in the world. I think it has been a long and hard journey for them. I think they deserve that success, " he told reporters during a promotional event here on Friday.
However, former Australian stumper advised India to play with caution against the kangaroos in the second Test starting on Friday as they are still one of the best in world, despite going through a transitional phase.
"I think it's a sort of three years since Glenn and Shane left and two years since myself and others left. So, there has been a transition. They have been through that transition
"(But) Regardless of results, he (Ponting) is so committed to excel. They are still one of the best teams in the world. On any given day, they can beat anyone else. "
Deccan Chargers skipper Gilchrist had also words of praise for his IPL teammate VVS Laxman, who played a match-winning knock against Australia in recently concluded Mohali Test.
"When it comes to skills and applying those skills and more importantly when the team needs, he is going to stand up and weave magic with the bat. He has proved that time and time again with Australia. I am happy for him. "
He said "very very seriously good" Laxman is a "quite achiever".
"That is his nature. He is not an outwardly expressive person. He is not on the billboards, he is not in advertising, he is not doing endorsements...Having got to know him for the last few years with Deccan Chargers, he is absolutely a terrific person, a kind-hearted, gentle-heart. "
Replying to a query, the Deccan Chargers captain said he would like to continue the "wonderful journey".
"After the frustrating first year (of IPL-I when Chargers ended up at the bottom of the table), winning the second and the semi-finals in the third year, we have achieved positive results. I would love to continue on that journey.
"I need to find out from the franchise what their intentions are and then we can sit down and work it out from there. "
On the team composition for the IPL, Gilchrist said the franchise should have the opportunity to retain some of the players. "I have given my thoughts on IPL to Sunil Gavaskar who came into contact with me. It is great that they are being pro-active in seeking the players¿ inputs. I definitely feel there should be an opportunity for franchises to retain some players to keep the IPL as the way to go"
Asked about concerns about alleged racist attacks on Indian students in Australia, Gilchrist said the incidents are embarrassing to the country and that no stone has been left unturned to ensure that the country is safe for foreigners.
There have been no racist attacks over the last several months, he added.