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PWI skipper says his team needs to build on current momentum
By IPL Staff
Mohali 11 April 2012
In his first season as the skipper of the Pune Warriors India, Sourav Ganguly has won the first two games. However, he warns of the uncertainties in the Twenty20 format as the tournament progresses. The veteran cricketer spoke to the media about his team, his role and Yuvraj Singh in the press interaction on the eve of PWI’s match against hosts Kings XI Punjab. Excerpts from Ganguly’s pre-match press conference:
On the team
We have played well as a team. It is still early days, [we have played] just two games, so a lot of games left in this tournament and we still got 14 more games. [...] but it is good to have two wins.
We have played well as a unit. The bowling has looked well. But in this format, you have to keep on improving. We have won games, and hopefully, we can keep doing that. On Angelo Matthews
He is available for selection. He was available for selection even for the last game, so we will see how it goes. He is fit to bowl.
On whether PWI will rotate players since they have options
We want to pick the best team to win every game. Sometimes too many options are a problem because you can only play four overseas [players in the team]. It is not [like] picking an Indian team or a Sri Lankan team, where you pick your best eleven players. Here you can pick your only four overseas [players] and the rest [...]. Even if they are outstanding, you can’t pick them because that’s the rule of the game. So sometimes it becomes a headache.
We will pick our best possible team every time. On Yuvraj Singh
Whether we win or not, the entire thing is for Yuvraj Singh. For me, he is my colleague [and] I have seen him grow from the start as a cricketer. So obviously, we all have special feelings for him. But what’s important for all of us is to see him fit. Cricket is not the most important thing at this present moment. He is back from America as we all know. We saw him yesterday, and you can see a person who has gone through treatment. So for him it is important [that] he recovers and stays fit and leads a healthy life before he thinks of coming back on to the park.
On areas PWI need to work on
We have to keep improving in all areas because it is such a short format [that] you don’t have much time to come back. If you are not on the button for those 40 overs [during the game] you are gone. In Test cricket or in one-day cricket, you still have an opportunity to come back. If you have had one bad session or one bad day you can come back the next day; but here if it is a bad fifteen minutes, then the game is over. So you have to keep working on it every time and be at the top of your game all the time. On his own batting form
I hit the ball well last game. It is going to happen in T20 that you are going to score some and you are going to miss some. You have got to keep hitting. That is the name of the game. It is a team sport. It is a different form of sport. You don’t get enough time to settle down, so you just got to keep hitting the ball.
On the support he continues to get from Kolkata
I have got support from Kolkata always. I am not surprised. For me the most important thing is that we keep playing well and keep getting the support because it is important to play well. That’s why you get support.
On PWI winning two games and the road ahead
That is past, but I again say that it’s early days in the tournament. […] Teams are going to go through ups and downs [...]. You just have to keep waking up every day and keep doing well. It is that type of a tournament. It is [like] World Cup football, there are so many games; you have to be waking up all the time and getting better the next day.
On what he tells the players
We look at small things. Keep playing freely [and] keep playing with freedom because that’s what this format demands. You cannot keep defending and you cannot keep leaving balls. Fielding is important and we have a very good bowling side, so that works. [...] There will be failures in every format. Probably more in this format because you are swinging all the time [...] whether you are in good form or bad form, you have to keep hitting the ball. So that’s what it is.
KXIP skipper analyses team’s performance ahead of PWI game
By IPL Staff
Mohali 11 April 2012
Ahead of Kings XI Punjab’s first home game of IPL 2012, skipper Adam Gilchrist addressed the media at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium after practice. The captain spoke about his team’s composition and analysed their strengths and weaknesses during the brief interaction. Excerpts from Gilchrist’s pre-match press conference:
On the need for a finisher
It’s more the top [that has yet to score runs] than the back [lower-order which is doing well for KXIP]. In Pune, the finish was quite good; Bipul Sharma and Piyush Chawla were hitting sixes and they were having a go at the run-rate. It is just the top order [that needs] to enable them to get into a winning position. We let that run-rate get too high, so it’s probably the top more than the finishing that’s been the issue at the moment. On R Sathish not playing
R Sathish has an injury [...]. We want to give him every chance to get fit, but it’s been deemed that he needs to have an operation. He is having an operation on Friday I think. And Stuart Broad is a big loss even though he hasn’t played for us yet. But he is a world-class bowler, a world-class all-rounder and a terrific person. It would have been great to have him here now, fully fit. But the fact is that he is not, so we just got to move on, and make sure that the guys here take this opportunity [and make the most of it]. On Hussey and Praveen Kumar missing training
No, they weren’t here because today we had an optional training. We have had back-to-back games and big days of travel, so we all came yesterday and trained really well [...]. They stayed back [as] they had a little bit of work back at the hotel. They are experienced cricketers and they will be ripe for tomorrow. On Praveen Kumar’s bowling
I think we did a wonderful job on Sunday night against Pune [Warriors India]. His four overs straight really set the game up for us well. The Dimitri [Mascarenhas] and Harmeet [Singh] came on, supported him really well and took us till right at the end. Praveen was excellent. Although he was not providing wickets, he was containing well and really led that bowling line-up really well. So he should be well placed with that. On the chances of David Hussey batting up the order
There is a bit of fight down there [in the batting order] with Shaun [Marsh batting] at [No.] 3. David’s sort of in at four or five or sixth position; that is where he has batted most of his Twenty20 career [...]. We have looked at different combinations to this point, but he is definitely an option. We have got a good balance of left-hand and right-hand, so that’s played its part a little bit about who is batting at what position, but there is every chance that he might be up there.