Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have pipped Sachin Tendulkar to the ICC ODI Player of the Year award but Adam Gilchrist believes the Little Master is still the best batsman around.
In New Delhi on a promotional tour, Gilchrist said he does not doubt Dhoni's ability but Tendulkar is simply the best.
"Well, it's hard to compare whether statistically or in your mind or opinion. It's a big award for Mahendra to win but I would still say Sachin is the best player of recent times," Gilchrist told NDTV.
Making a comparative study of both the Indians, Gilchrist said, "Dhoni is firepower, (it's more about) his explosiveness and unpredictability. If there is anything about Sachin, it's his technicality, he is beautiful to watch and clinical whereas Dhoni is almost carefree, playing without fear that can hurt you most.
"He (Dhoni) hits some extraordinary shots that are quite unique to the game. You never see them in textbooks but are equally effective," said the Australian.
Gilchrist was also against rushing Dhoni into the Test captain's job even though he felt it was just a matter of time before the star stumper takes over the reins from Anil Kumble.
"Well, his time will come I believe," Gilchrist said.
"There is no need to rush him in, I'm sure it's just a matter of time. He looks to me like the top character who can handle both Test and one-day captaincy, and the wicket-keeping and batting roles and the many, many sponsors he has," Gilchrist quipped.
Though no more part of the Australian squad, Gilchrist is not immune to issues affecting the Aussies and he sounded equally worried about the uncertainty over Andrew Symonds' fate.
Symonds was recently sent home from Darwin for preferring a fishing trip to a compulsory team meeting. Though Cricket Australia feels Symonds may not play again, Gilchrist is still optimistic that the all-rounder would sort out the problems and make a comeback to the side.
"I hope not," he said when asked if Symonds was lost to the game.
"The passion is still there within Symmo and he has got still bit more that he wants to accomplish and achieve. He just needs time," he said.
"People cannot quite comprehend the stress, strain and pressure when you are so much under the microscope. Of course it's no way the worse than here in India," Gilchrist said.