Kolkata: Former Australian wicketkeeper and explosive opener Adam Gilchrist feels there is a big gulf between Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of the top batsmen, something that makes it almost impossible for anyone to get anywhere near the legend`s landmark of 100 international centuries.
Giving example of Ricky Ponting, who has recently retired from the ODI format, Gilchrist said 29 centuries separate Tendulkar from his former skipper.
"That speaks about Tendulkar`s greatness -- the gap between him and the rest. He is way ahead. I really doubt that anybody would ever break this record," Gilchirst said.
"If you look at the records, Ponting is the world`s best batsmen next to Tendulkar. But his combined tally (of Test and one-day centuries) is 71 (41-30)," he said.
Tendulkar`s critics could argue that he has played more matches against countries like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, he said adding but even 10 centuries were added to Ponting`s, he would still be 19 centuries away.
"Tendulkar`s record is truly unique, remarkable. He is playing with the same intensity for last 22 years... That shows how big a player Tendulkar is," he said.
Gilchrist, who was part of an invincible side that dominated world cricket winning a hat-trick of World Cups from 1999-2007, said Indians need to be patient in the coming days.
"Rahul Dravid has just retired... Now only VVS Laxman and Tendulkar are playing. It would be a huge boots to fill when Tendulkar goes away. We faced a similar phase. But the fans need to patient," he said.
Gilchrist feels that India have cricketing talent in abundance but the supporters need to be patient.
"Undoubtedly, there is no dearth of talent in India. In fact, it`s just the opposite. The fans just need to be patient with the youngsters like Virat Kohli," he said.
With his recent exploits, Kohli proved that he was ready to step up and, the Australian said,"To me, he is one of the best players in the world cricket at the moment."
Asked if Kohli could fill in the No 3 slot left void by Dravid, Gilchrist said: "He is an upcoming player. I don`t know his preference. And, I also don`t want to form an opinion about him. He has showed that he is very confident against the new ball. He is surely a great player in the making."
The Kings XI coach-cum-captain in the upcoming IPL, Gilchrist disagreed that too much cricket and Twenty20 was the reason for India`s routs in the recent overseas series in England and Australia.
India were ill-prepared for the Australia tour against a very professional attack that put pressure on the batsmen, he said.
"Twenty20 is a very exciting concept, that requires skill at a high level. It needs a lot of thought and you have to maintain the intensity and pace coupled with the pressure. I`m sure the Test cricket is ultimate," he said.
"The challenge here is for the adminstrators not to overdo.... If it`s well administered, there is room for all the three formats," he said, giving example of the poor scheduling of the one-off T20 against South Africa in Johannesburg yesterday.