KXIP hope to carry on winning momentum

Gilchrist, Mandeep talk about recent form ahead of game against RR

By IPL Staff
Mohali 04 May 2012
Riding high after their wins against the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in away matches, Kings XI Punjab will be hoping to reverse their fortunes on their home ground. They will want to avenge their defeat against the Rajasthan Royals in their earlier encounter.
Ahead of this match, Adam Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh addressed the media at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here.

Excerpts from their press conference:

On wins against CSK and RCB

Gilchrist: It was obviously a very positive week for us. [...] We have won matches against some big teams at big stadiums so that is very pleasing. We have a good vibe around us at the moment, so the challenge for us now is to rectify what we have done [wrong] here in Mohali. We have had one win here, but a few losses. So if we can work out why that is and try and target that area [and improve upon it] that is our next challenge.

On whether there were last over jitters in the match against RCB

Gilchrist: There is always little bit of panic that sets in [in tight situations] and some probably bad decision-making [to add to that]. It was a pretty convincing performance from the team [otherwise] all the way through, and obviously, it would have been frustrating to slip-up at the end. It wasn’t an ideal finish, but we got there. All in all, it was a very positive performance, so we have thought about that. The players involved will think about that, and hopefully, learn from it.

On his fitness status

Gilchrist: I am still progressing. I will train today and keep assessing it. So I am not sure what the situation is for tomorrow, but certainly, I am getting closer to playing [...] I will sort of work it out from training and see how it pulls up tomorrow; and whereas three-four days ago, wasn’t playing, but starting to get back into the picture now.

Since the team did well in his absence, how do they work on getting the combinations right once he’s back?

Gilchrist It is a very valid point that you have raised. [But] we will deal with that as soon as I am available for selection and fully fit. [Then] that’s another decision that we need to make and work out what the right balance is. I will not speculate on that any further until I am fully fit and available. Then, we will go through that process. Teams [that have played about] ten games should have a reasonable idea about what their best structure is [...]

On Ryan Harris and KXIP’s bowling department

Gilchrist He is a world-class fast bowler, so it is reinforcing for the team. [...] [But again] what combination you want to go with given the conditions [has to be decided]. I haven’t even looked at the wicket yet. He is certainly a great addition to our squad. Unfortunately, he bowled two good overs for us the other night, got an early wicket, but then hurt [...] his leg so couldn’t bowl again. He is recovering and recovering well.

On batting form

Mandeep Singh: It feels great, but I think I need to improve a lot. I am getting starts in every game so should continue batting long and need to improve a lot.

On whether there is a concentration lapse

Mandeep: I had a concentration lapse in Chennai. I got a little tired because of the heat, but rest of the matches it was good [...].

On their approach for tomorrow’s game. RR was at the top earlier but are now struggling, while KXIP struggled earlier but are having a good run now

Mandeep: We are not concentrating too much on the points table we are just doing the things that we can do and our momentum is going very well. With Azhar [Mahamood] coming in, our team has got good balance. He can score well towards the end and he bowls well too. He is delivering well and with him in the team, it is a big plus for us. [...] All the departments are covered. We are getting good starts and with Nitin [Saini] coming into the team, and he played well in the last game. All of us are contributing really well. So [we] hope to continue and the results will show.

Gilchrist: We are not looking at the points-table with any great interest other than [that] you feel good to see that you are up in the top [half] rather than the bottom [half of the table]. The reality is that Rajasthan Royals beat us in the first game. Every team in this tournament can beat everyone else, so you don’t expect them to be a lesser team because our positions have somewhat reversed in the last week or two. Every game is very important.

On whether there would be a scramble to the reach the playoffs

Though I understand the point of the question, I would sort of question why teams haven’t been scrambling to give their best performance up to this point. You have got to be doing that from Day 1 of the tournament. That was the disappointing thing about our game against Rajasthan [Royals]; [...] we weren’t ready and didn’t snap into action straight away. Reflecting back, we had a bit of lethargic start [...]. So yes, teams are continuing to produce their best in every game. The stakes are getting higher with every game we play.

On fielding being their highpoint and whether they have been concentrating on it a bit more

Gilchrist: The name Mike Young can easily be written into that. He is the catalyst. He is the starting point but then [...] the players have got to imbibe what he brings and do the work. [...] Mandeep here is as much of a highlight with the 40 runs that he scored, but there were balls hit at him at extreme pace and he just simply puts up a wall and determined not let it get past. Those three balls could have gone for 12 runs and that can really debilitate a bowling attack and rest in the field. So he is a great example. We had one game where our standards went down a fraction [and] there are always dropped catches. But that is part of cricket. But otherwise, our fielding has been exceptional and I am really impressed by it.

On teams talking about momentum and bowling in the right areas

Gilchrist: It’s just a term like any [other]. [...].It is probably more feeling of spirit with a group and how that is manifesting in and around team. It’s such a high intensity competition that there is very little room for errors and if they cost you a game here and there [that] can really add up; and equally, otherwise a little piece of brilliance can win you a game. [...] It is more about the feeling and positivity around the group, which is obviously higher after a win than after a loss. I would focus on the word ‘momentum’ making sure that when the spirits are high and results are coming your way, you get to carried away, and when it’s low after a couple of defeats, so [it’s] negative. You try not to hit the bottom and maintain a steady groove. [...]
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