Hussey has led us well: Gilchrist

Injured KXIP skipper says his team’s stand-in captain has done a good job so far

By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 01 May 2012
Kings XI Punjab are high on confidence after pulling off a thrilling victory at Chepauk against the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings. It was a morale boost that will hold them in good stead as they take on another strong team – the Royal Challengers Bangalore – in their own backyard.

In the pre-match presser, KXIP’s injured captain-cum-mentor Adam Gilchrist credited the team for putting their best foot forward against some of the stronger teams in the competition, and had words of praise for David Hussey, who is leading the team in his absence.

On whether Ryan Harris will play the game

He surely gives us a lot more options, but we’re not sure whether or not he’ll play tomorrow. I’ve had a look at the wicket and it looks pretty sporting now. But there’s still 24 hours to go for the match and a lot can happen in that time. Harris did a good job for us last year, and so, he definitely gives us something to think about.

On David Hussey’s captaincy

I’m very impressed with what he has done. He’s led the team well and is very keen to perform. We work very closely in that regards and continue to talk through things even during a match. He’s had some good victories and a couple of near misses. Overall, he’s done a great job, and I don’t see anything negative in what he’s done so far.

On the practice wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium

The practice wickets here are very similar to the track in the centre. That is not often the case at any ground around the world. It’s terrific to have that quality of practice in what I think will be very much the match situation. That’s credit to the ground staff here.

On Paul Valthaty’s poor form

We all saw last year the skills he possesses. Unfortunately, it didn’t start that way this year for him. After five games, he himself knew he wasn’t producing the performance, which was also due to the wrist niggle. But he’s still there in our plans, and like everyone in the side who’s not playing, he’s working hard to get back into the playing XI. As of now, he won’t be playing tomorrow.

On Shaun Marsh

I think he’s a guy who enjoys the carefree approach of T20 cricket. But I think he’s a class player in all formats. There are a certain things he needs to work on in order to get back into the [Australian] national team and he’s totally aware of that. It’s no secret that he’s had some technical issues this summer and he’s keen to work on them. But for the moment, he’s enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere that is T20 cricket, while still being very committed to doing well.

On the morale of the team after beating strong teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings

These are tough little secrets of the game – if you look at the draw, we’ve had back-to-back games against Mumbai [Indians], then we went to Chennai and now we play RCB on their home ground. These are the teams that have consistently done well in all tournaments they’ve played in.

We’re thrilled that we can not only perform up to their standard, but also take points off them. The pleasing factor for me is that even if we’ve lost games, I’ve never seen the boys totally deflated saying “no no, there’s no way we can beat them”. They’re very sure that provided we look after ourselves and do what we’re capable of, we’ll stand among the best. That’s the challenge in a tournament like this where you can get into a hole of defeat at times and you need to hold that middle ground to be balanced.

On the most dangerous player in the RCB line-up

There’s one obvious one who opens their batting, but I really believe they have a number of batsmen who can take the game away from you. Virat Kohli, I think, is on the course to being one of the best players in the world in all forms of cricket. He hasn’t yet achieved the results he would be looking for in this IPL so far and will be very keen to perform. There are also some very skilful world-class bowlers in there, and they stuck up very well on paper. In fact, we chose not to look at their individual players in our team meeting because it was turning out to be a bit of a horror story. They’ve got star-studded line-up; some big names with bat and ball. We’re very aware of that. Hopefully, we have learnt from the mistakes we made against them in Mohali.
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