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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. [...]
Defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, are locked in a mid-table race, having been on the receiving end in their last two matches; since their last-ball victory against the Rajasthan Royals, CSK have shared points with RCB, and lost to Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders.
With time quickly running out and the tournament nearing the business end, CSK will be aware that they need to get back to being the team that won two back-to-back IPL titles. And they will have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Deccan Chargers in Match 46 of DLF IPL 2012.
DC, currently, lie on the ground floor of the IPL 2012 table with two wins from nine matches. Though they are theoretically in with a shot to qualify for the playoffs; they need to win every single match from this point forward, and then, hope for other results to go their way as well. They come into this fixture on the back of a win against the Pune Warriors India, and will look to add to their winning momentum.
Friday, May 4, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
That Chennai Super Kings have been a one-man batting line-up can be established from the fact that Faf du Plessis (334 runs) has 137 runs more than the second-best run-getter for the team. Suresh Raina has by and large been disappointing this season, but he showed glimpses of returning to form in the previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders. CSK will need him to get going and hope the power-hitters (MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and Albie Morkel) can play handy cameos in the closing stages of the innings.
Chennai Super Kings’ spinners have had a disappointing tournament thus far; between R Ashwin, Shadab Jakati and Suresh Raina, the defending champions have only bagged 10 dismissals at the cost of 45 runs per wicket. For CSK to be the force they were last season – especially when playing at home – they need their spinners to start picking up truckloads of wickets, just like they’ve done in the past.
The one common factor in the Deccan Chargers’ two wins so far has been half-centuries by Cameron White. The team management will be hoping the Australian – who has been in and out of the side (despite being the vice-captain) – can continue to perform just like he did in the wins against the Pune Warriors India.
Also keep an eye on the fiery Dale Steyn who was taken to the cleaners in the match against PWI. He will be pitted against Michael Hussey, du Plessis, Raina, Dhoni, etc. and his spell to them could make for some lip-smacking action. Previous Meetings
The Chennai Super Kings hold an edge over the Deccan Chargers not only because of their 5-4 win-loss record, but because they’ve also win the last three meetings between the two teams.
In the most recent encounter between CSK and DC (at Visakhapatnam), Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly led his team to a convincing 74-run win. The Saurashtra all-rounder scored a quick fire 48 (29 balls) and then picked up five DC wickets as his side bowled out their opponents for 119. What next?
The Chennai Super Kings travel to Mumbai next for their fixture against the Mumbai Indians on April 6, while the Deccan Chargers will be seen in action in Bangalore later on the same day when they square off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.