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Injured KXIP captain says his hamstring has progressed well over the last week
By IPL Staff
Hyderabad 07 May 2012
The Indian Premier League comes to the city of Hyderabad for the first time in 2012 as the Deccan Chargers get set to host Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here in Uppal. Adam Gilchrist, who captains the Punjab franchise, has been unavailable in the past few matches because of a hamstring injury he sustained earlier in the tournament. While he said that his hamstring has progressed really well, the KXIP captain clarified that a final call would be taken only on the day of the game. Excerpts:
On whether he will play tomorrow’s game:
Not sure. I’ve just had a really good workout. It’s [the hamstring] really progressed well over the last few days. The signs are positive, but we’ll see how it pulls up tomorrow and make a decision from there. The thing is that we have got four or five days until our next game after this one [and] so I guess there is a temptation to leave it one more [game] and have about a week’s recovery. But it felt pretty good, so I’ll see how it is tomorrow.
On playing his former team, the Deccan Chargers:
Same as any other game really – two points up for grabs. We got them [Deccan Chargers] back-to-back now. It’s a great cricket ground. I really enjoyed playing here previously. It’s a good challenge for us. Hopefully, we can play some more cricket that we were playing prior to our last game. It wasn’t a great performance by us [in the last game]. We’ve thought about that, and hopefully, we can turn that around tomorrow. On Kings XI Punjab’s campaign this year, including a couple of last-ball losses:
It’s been symbolic of the tournament as a whole. Maybe Kolkata [Knight Riders] are a team that may feel that they have played pretty consistently all the way through. But the other teams have been up and down a little bit. It’s been a unique tournament in that regard and we’ve been no different. We haven’t strung more than two wins in a row and that’s what teams strive for, to get that third win, the fourth win and get that positive feeling around. We’ve played some good cricket and some not so good cricket. It’s been about searching for the consistent game really. We’ve showcased some young Indian players – Mandeep Singh and Nitin Saini to name a few. And Parvinder Awana has been terrific. It’s been positive in that regard.
On playing well in away games:
That’s four big games. Four real challenges against top opposition in what can be pretty intimidating stadiums. Hopefully, that holds us well prepared for another away game tomorrow. But I don’t quite see where the home-and-away theme comes from for us; on why it is better away and not at home. That’s just the way it has panned out.
On whether he has found it difficult watching the team from the sidelines:
Not difficult at all, surprisingly. I’ve felt very comfortable. I’m closer to the end of my career. I’ve enjoyed the deeper involvement from a coaching perspective and have really enjoyed watching the boys play.
On whether he has any point to prove playing against the Deccan Chargers:
No. Like I said, it’s just another game. It’s another two points up for grabs. I look forward to the challenge. It goes without saying that it’s wonderful to be back in Hyderabad. The people are so friendly, the hotel staff and everybody. That’s a nice touch. The fans were always supportive.
Match 51 promises a mouthwatering contest between two teams who are perched on top of the table. The Delhi Daredevils have looked the best team in the competition so far. This is illustrated best by the fact that though they haven’t been in action for five days, they have remained firm at the top of the table. They’ve won their last four contests and have looked the most dominating of the nine teams in DLF IPL 2012.
Their opponents in this match, the Kolkata Knight Riders, are parked second in the standings with 15 points. They have been unbeaten over their last six matches. After a slow start to the tournament (they lost their opening two matches), KKR have gone on to win seven of their next nine matches (with their match against the Deccan Chargers getting washed out).
Monday, May 7, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
Keep your eyes glued on the two captains; both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been in awesome form this season, and are one knock away from bagging the Orange Cap. Both players will be keen to keep their form intact and carry it into the business end of the competition.
Also look out for the battle of wits between the two Delhi lads; Sehwag and Gambhir have played a lot of their cricket together and know almost everything about each other. Keep an eye on the calls they take on the field – both players have been impressive in their decision-making skills so far this season. Their decision-making skills could well decide what team ends up victorious.
Keep an eye on Delhi Daredevils’ David Warner too. The diminutive New South Wales batsman had scored back-to-back hundreds in his last two Twenty20 innings in India (in the 2011 CLT20). He will be hoping to carry forward that form into IPL 2012.
Morne Morkel has been more than a handful in most of his spells this season; the South African lost his Purple Cap to Lasith Malinga recently and he will be keen to wrest it back from the Sri Lankan. Previous Meetings
In eight previous matches between the Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders, the former have been victorious in four contests, while the latter have won three games. One other match – scheduled to be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2008 – was called off because of showers.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams at the Eden Gardens earlier this season, the Delhi Daredevils comfortably cruised to an eight-wicket win in a rain-affected contest. Trivia
This match will feature two of the most consistent players in DLF IPL 2012; Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag has scored five half-centuries on the trot, while his opposite number, Gautam Gambhir, has scored half-centuries in his last three innings.
The Delhi Daredevils have the best scoring rate of all the teams in IPL 2012 – 8.40.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have the best overall economy rate in IPL 2012 – 6.92.
The Delhi Daredevils will be seen in action next on May 10 when they turn up at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad to take on the Deccan Chargers. The Kolkata Knight Riders, meanwhile, enjoy a four-day break before playing host to the Mumbai Indians on May 12.