Mumbai: Former Australia stumper Adam Gilchrist today said that Pakistan played a perfect game of cricket when they decimated India in last Sunday's Champions Trophy final, but urged the country's fans not to over-react to the defeat against the arch-rivals.
"Before the game, I would have backed India, but (when) two horses race anyone can beat anyone in the short version cricket. I wouldn't say there has been an over-reaction, I am just encouraging (fans) not to over react (on India's loss). Pakistan just played a perfect game of cricket," Gilchrist, who is currently Australia-India Education Ambassador, told reporters on the sidelines of an education-related event here.
Pakistan spanked defending champions India by 180 runs to lift their maiden ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval in London. Gilchrist, swashbuckling batsman of yesteryears whose century in the 2007 World Cup final against Sri Lanka helped his country retain the title, also felt that most nations would now start to focus on the 2019 World Cup to be hosted by England.
"(But) there is plenty of time to make adjustments," he said. Gilchrist was non-committal when asked whether India should play with another wicket-keeper in place of the iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"There is exciting talent available to India. M S (Dhoni) is an experienced cricketer, he is the one to make that decision (whether to continue playing)." Asked whether India should try a younger batsman in place of another seasoned batsman, Yuvraj Singh, Gilchirst said, "Exactly the same as M S Dhoni.
They are the players that know how they are going and whether they are upto another two years of full cricket. The selectors and the captain will be talking to them. "They are world class players for a long time.
Something will be discussed amongst the leadership group and the players. I don't want to give an opinion.," he added. He also praised Delhi 'keeper Rishab Pant, describing the youngster as "a very exciting talent."
"I haven't seen him play a great deal. I have seen highlights of him in the IPL, but haven't seen a lot of him. He will get an opportunity at some stage," said the former left-handed batsman.
Pant did not make it to the Champions Trophy squad but has been included in the outfit to take on the West Indies in the ODI series commencing June 23. On Australian cricket, Gilchrist felt there has been an improvement in the team's performance after their loss against South Africa at home last year.
"They have performed well in India. They have improved since that time (after the series against South Africa). There were big selection changes. They have improved and are heading in the right direction," he signed off....