Sachin Tendulkar has scoffed at suggestions Australia's cricketers are too old and their domination of world cricket is drawing to a close.
India's master batsman said Australia's Ashes loss to England did not change his belief that Ricky Ponting's team are still way ahead of the opposition.
"Australia is the best team in the world. They've been playing at a different level for almost two decades now," Tendulkar told Inside Cricket magazine in the lead-up to next month's World XI versus Australia series.
"You just have to see the way they express themselves on the field. Their body language is so different from any other side. They're very passionate and very aggressive."
Tendulkar also dismissed speculation that Australia's players are too old, saying their ages are irrelevant.
"Nobody spoke of [Glenn] McGrath and [Shane] Warne being over 35 when they were takingwickets. Yet, once their performance slips, we talk about their ageing," he said.
"Thereare always two sides to a coin. But we must remember that they have the talent, the ability and they put in a lot of hard work. The whole world knows what they are capable of.
"We haven't seen many [new]players because it's tough to break into the Australian side but as and when it does happen, I'm sure they will be equally good."
Tendulkaralso paid a glowing tribute to Warne, describing the Australian leg spinner as a gift from God.
"Heplays his cricket the hard way and has the ability to bounce back from the dead. He's God's gift to cricket," Tendulkar said.
"Howmany guys can bowl like him and how many guys can be as exciting as him? I'm least worried about what he does in his private life. It's his life. On the field he has delivered incredibly."