Tendulkar was the lone candidate for ODI double-ton: Gilchrist

Tendulkar was the lone candidate for ODI double-ton: Gilchrist

"If there's one man who's going to do it, it was he (Tendulkar). It is a wonderful testament to his longevity. The greatest sign of a champion is longevity and Tendulkar is beyond anyone else in this regard," Gilchrist said today.

"Probably in 10 years' time he'll get 300," added the wicketkeeper-batsman, who will lead defending champions Deccan Chargers in the third edition of the Indian Premier League commencing from tomorrow.

Looking ahead to Chargers defending their title that they won in South Africa last year, Gilchrist was of the opinion that the tournament was a good preparation for all countries on the run-up to the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in the West Indies later this year.

"It would be a great preparation for the World T20 in terms of skills and match fitness," he said. The Chargers open their title defence against former India captain Sourav Ganguly-led Kolkata Knight Riders at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on first day of the tournament.

"Knight Riders had a controversial approach last year (when their coach John Buchanan tried out multiple-captaincy theory that failed), but I think they would be more settled this time. I expect them play aggressively," Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist was of the opinion that Pakistan players, who were ignored at the auction by all the franchises, could be on their radar next year.

"They could come in next year when most of the players would be auctioned again," he said.

Looking behind, the left-hand opening batsman said when it started IPL was an unknown commodity, which has grown in stature to become a serious business.

"It was an unknown concept to everyone. It was one of the enduring moments when (Knight Riders') Brendon McCullum played that knock (against Royal Challengers Bangalore). It is now a big business," he said.

Gilchrist also felt it was difficult to predict what can be a good score in T20 and that 200 is normally considered so, but it will depend on the conditions.

"The scores will depend on the conditions. It could be normally 200-plus, but low scores could also make for exciting matches," he said.

He once again reiterated the players' demand for a clear window for the event and advised IPL authorities and the ICC to come to an understanding.

"This is the premier club tournament in the world and it will help the brand to grow," the Australian said.
 
Gilchrist also said it was disappointing for the fans of Hyderabad not to witness any IPL matches this season but added his team members knew the feeling of playing away from home from last year's example when the tournament had to be shifted to South Africa due to security reasons.

He was full of praise for the D Y Patil Stadium which is hosting the tournament opener as well as the final. "We've played there once and it was our first win in the IPL. So the guys really enjoyed getting back to the stadium yesterday, having a look around. It looks in magnificent condition. No doubt, it's world-class. That's going to be exciting," Gilchrist said.

Welcoming cricket's inclusion in the Olympic fold, Gilchrist said that T20 was the ideal format for the quadrennial sporting extravaganza.

"It's wonderful, a fantastic story for cricket. It just shows the value which T20 holds for cricket as a model. I have said before that if we want to push for the Olympic acceptance the ICC should have that as a primary agenda," he said.

He drew a parallel with the game of field hockey gaining ground in China through the Olympics that Beijing hosted in 2008. "The way to do that (popularise cricket) is through T20 cricket. And the way that countries can best quicken up their development is in this form. We have seen it in hockey. Afghanistan is a great story based on that T20 format," Gilchrist pointed out.

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