India deserve to be No 1 side: Gilchrist

India deserve to be No 1 side: Gilchrist

“India have worked on becoming number one for years and they deserve every bit of it,” Gilchrist said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore on Saturday, where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the University of Wollongong and Mphasis.

“We had a very strong core and we got to the top working with that core. India have done the same thing. This is the natural cycle of teams going up and down. There is no runaway champion, and that’s just great for the game. As a player, I wanted to go out and win every match, but as a spectator, I would like to see tough competition, and that’s what I see now.”

Led from the front by VVS Laxman, who scored a match-winning 73 with a runner because of his troubled back, India pulled off a thrilling one-wicket win against Australia in the first Test in Mohali. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Friday said Laxman would not be allowed a runner in the second Test in Bangalore. However, Laxman was ruled out on the morning of the Test in Bangalore.

“I really wouldn’t expect anything else from Ricky,” said Gilchrist of his captain’s call on the runner issue. “It’s just the way he addresses the game. What Ricky has said is well within his limit, but I’ll add that he is a little grumpy. I wouldn’t have thought Laxman would have asked for a runner, though.”

Talking about the rivalry between India and Australia, the left-hander said: “What India and Australia have right now is great for cricket. It’s a healthy rivalry, and obviously there is aggression, but that complements the game.

The competition is hard-nosed and both teams are guilty of pushing it over the line at times, but now the relationship between the teams has matured.”Skipper of the Deccan Chargers, Gilchrist said the Indian Premier League was the new face of cricket and had a long way to go in terms of growth.

“The IPL is not all about the money. It is the changing face of cricket. It is a culmination of business and sport and so far, it has been great.”

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