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IPL Staff in Mohali 19 April 2012 - 06:09pm IST

Gilchrist ruled out of RCB tie

David Hussey to captain Kings XI Punjab against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kings XI Punjab captain, Adam Gilchrist, has been ruled out of his team’s next IPL 2012 game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore to be played at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on April 20. Gilchrist had suffered an injury while completing a run during the game against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday night. The injury had forced Gilchrist to retire hurt during the sixth over of his team’s innings, when he was batting on 28. However, he did come out to bat at the fall of the sixth wicket, after which the Australian top-scored with an unbeaten 30-ball 40 in KXIP’s score of 124.

“I won’t be playing tomorrow. I’ve got a slight tear in my hamstring, so that’s going to rule me out for tomorrow. I’ll work with the physiotherapist and we’ll monitor it from there,” Gilchrist told the media ahead of the team’s match against RCB tomorrow.

“I had a scan this morning. We’re waiting on further results, a bit more detailed. It’s a bit vague at the moment. The clarity is that I’ll definitely not be available tomorrow. I’ll obviously update if we find out more news. It’s not a case of hiding anything,” he said.

Gilchrist confirmed at the press conference that David Hussey would lead the franchise on the field in his absence. The Australian also said KXIP had enough firepower to make do without his presence in the side.

“Obviously, any injury to any player, who is in your first eleven, can be frustrating. It is disappointing in that regard. But it does create an opportunity for someone else. We’ve still got many talented players. We’ve got a guy who is rated the best batsman in IPL history in Shaun Marsh. There’s plenty of talent,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist’s injury means Azhar Mahmood’s chances of figuring in the playing eleven should increase dramatically. Mahmood had joined the KXIP side before their game against Kolkata, but did not end up featuring in that match. Speaking on the all-rounder’s chances of finally making it to the playing XI, Gilchrist said, “He’s certainly in contention. There is no doubt about it. He’s one of the few options that we could go with. He’s a very well-performed international cricketer, particularly lately in T20. He’ll come under heavy consideration.”

Gilchrist also threw his weight behind the young Indian batsmen in his team, who have come under fire for not performing in the tournament so far.

“They are certainly a talented bunch. It’s a young group. Mandeep [Singh]; Paras Dogra is a guy who is new to this environment by way of actually being on the field. We’re just working hard to getting them to understand that the skills that they have got are more than enough to be successful at this level. That’s the beauty of the IPL – that a little window of opportunity opens up for players and they take it and run with it.”

When asked about KXIP exploiting any particular weakness in RCB’s armoury in tomorrow’s game, Gilchrist said that his team would prefer focusing on their own strengths. “They are a strong all-round team; there is no doubt about that. I don’t think I can sit here and say that there is one area of weakness that we will exploit. They are a very competent team. Our challenge is to just make sure that we do what we can do well. Then we have a chance,” he said.

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