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When you have David Hussey – world’s third-highest run-getter in Twenty20 cricket – and Adam Gilchrist – the most destructive wicketkeeper-batsman of his time – in the top-four of your line-up, you don’t expect to lose matches on account of your batting.
But that’s exactly what has happened withKings XI Punjab this IPL season. In five matches so far, KXIP have crossed the 140-run mark only once. Their latest batting implosion came in Hyderabad, as they lost five wickets for 27 runs in four overs.
Although the Sunrisers Hyderabad – who themselves are trying to find answers to their batting woes – lost five wickets, they never once looked uncomfortable chasing 124.
After the loss, KXIP’s senior batsman, David Hussey, admitted in his chat with iplt20.com that it’s high time the batsmen, starting with himself, start putting a price-tag on their wicket. Hussey hoped Adam Gilchrist’s 25-ball 26 was a sign of a purple patch for the veteran opener. The younger of the Hussey brothers praised his elder sibling, Michael, for his fine run with the Chennai Super Kings and told us who his top-three pairs of brother are in IPL 2013.
Leaving the last game against KKR aside, the batting hasn’t quite packed the punch. What’s the reason?
We’re just not taking responsibility of our wickets. When you’re four down with four overs to go, you think you’ll post a big score but we keep getting out in poor ways. We’ve really got to learn and rectify that problem straight away, or it’s going to be a very long tournament for us.
Something that was visible today as well, the batsmen who are getting the starts are not batting on for long. Is there a talk in the dressing room over that?
Yes, there is a bit of a talk. No batsman from our team has yet scored a fifty and we have to change that very soon. We have the batsmen to do that. The way Adam Gilchrist batted today I thought he’s going to be one of our better batsmen going forward in the tournament.
You’ve scored a couple of 40s, Gilchrist has hit a bit of form too. Is it time for the two of you to lead from the front?
Yes, it is. We really need to get those big 50s and 70s and give our bowlers a decent total to bowl to. The bowlers have been fantastic and now it’s up to the batsmen to put their hands up.
Are you the fielding captain of the team?
Yes, I am. I am the captain in the field and it’s my responsibility to get the best fielders in the right positions. It’s up to the bowlers to bowl whatever they want to and it’s then our job to create an atmosphere and cause a few run-outs.
Of the two Hussey brothers David is considered as a T20 master and Michael has always been a Test specialist. But he’s catching up with you well?
He’s a fantastic cricketer in all three formats. I watched him last night play against Delhi Daredevils (where he scored a 50-ball 65) and he batted superbly. I hope he keeps doing well but CSK keep losing games. That would be nice.
Which pair of brothers is the best this IPL? Don’t be modest, be honest.
I’ll give you my top three. No.3 the Marsh brothers, No.2 the Morkel brothers and No.1 the McCullum brothers. I think they’re the benchmark.