Mohali: Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist feels his opening batting partner Paul Valthaty's performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League has been of the "highest class" so far and is also confident that he can make it to the Indian cricket team in the near future.
"A lot has been said about him and a lot has been written about him and rightly so. It is quite extra-ordinary the way he has played. His performance has been of the highest class," Gilchrist said here today.
From being a relatively unknown cricketer, two back-to-back match-winning performances against Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers in the IPL have catapulted 27-year-old Valthaty from Mumbai into the spotlight.
"What has impressed me the most and I probably won't talk anymore about his batting, is the manner he has handled the focus on him," the former Australian cricketer said.
"He is very calm, very controlled and that is a great thing for our franchise. Hopefully for Paul and for the Indian cricket he is the guy who can handle this (focus, pressure, attention) very well. Hopefully that should help him progress and achieve higher honours," he added.
Gilchrist said that outside IPL, Valthaty can show his abilities in the domestic cricket and in the international arena when opportunity comes his way.
"He is taking small steps and he is in control of emotions as well as I have seen anyone," he said.
In an interview to PTI last week, Valthaty had said that he was taking each game as it comes and that he viewed his success as "small step in the right direction".
Valthaty, who is a man of few words, had also said that he is determined not to let the sudden success go to his head.
"I take each game as it comes. My dream has not been fulfilled yet, there is still a long way to go," he had said.