Kings XI Punjab might have beaten Mumbai Indians in their last match played in Mumbai, but Kings XI Punjab captain and coach Adam Gilchrist is of the view that Mumbai Indians is a dangerous side with some big names in their line-up. Addressing mediapersons at the PCA stadium in Mohali ahead of the Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians team, Gilchrist felt, “Mumbai is a dangerous side. They are an all-round side with quality players and star-studded line-up. They will be at their full strength with Tendulkar back into the side.” Despite winning the last game against them and history on their side having defeated them on six out of nine occasions, 40-year-old Gilchrist was wary of Mumbai team’s depth in all departments. The Punjab side which is being led by stand-in captain David Hussey in the absence of Gilchrist, who suffered a hamstring injury, defeated MI by six wickets in Mumbai on Sunday.
Gilchrist said he was pleased with the result against Mumbai on Sunday and his team had an “all-round best game”. He, however, said the star-studded MI line-up cannot be underestimated at any stage.
When asked if his team would enjoy any kind of psychological advantage over MI having defeated them on maximum occasions in all editions of the IPL so far, Gilchrist said he was not aware about this fact. “Is that really so?,” he asked the reporter who put the question and then added, “I didn’t realise that. I didn’t take this up in the team meeting, he said in a lighter vein. He also said that defeating them on six out of nine times does not make a huge difference as the conditions kept changing from time to time. “Had it been 9-0, may be (then it would have made some difference).” When asked about Mumbai Indians opener Sachin Tendulkar being back in the last game after sustaining finger injury earlier, Gilchrist said his team has a plan to counter him. Tendulkar’s presence lends stability to the top-order, which had been struggling in previous four games.
Adding more he said in addition to Tendulkar there were other players like James Franklin and Dinesh Karthik in the side, which makes their batting strong. When reminded about Tendulkar’s birthday today, Gilchrist said, “I get a bit of a cold shiver”. He was referring to a match played earlier in Sharjah, in which Gilchrist said the batting maestro had scored a ton on his birthday.
Domestic talent impressive
“Luckily, his birthday is not tomorrow,” he said and then asked the reporters in jest “how old he is by the way?”. Replying to question, Gilchrist sees playing back-to-back games is something every team has to cope with as such is the format of the tournament. He also said that he is not fit to play tomorrow’s match.
“I am not sure,” he replied when asked how long he thinks he will take to get back to action. Gilchrist praised the young domestic players of his team including wicketkeeper-batsmen Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh and medium pacer Parvinder Awana, saying he is impressed with their performance and now it was up to them to carry it forward. “I am impressed with his mindset,” he said about Saini and about Awana, he said, “He is an exciting prospect though I am not sure he understands all the words I say (referring to language problem).”
He did not agree that his team was over-reliant on particular batsmen like Shaun Marsh or him, saying every team looks to couple of their top batsmen to always give their best performance. Gilchrist also said that Ryan Harris will join the side and bring with him more aggression in his bowling. On the Munaf Patel episode, he said he was delighted the way his team had responded “or didn’t respond”.
‘Bhajji will bounce back’
When asked whether Harbhajan Singh’s poor form was a cause of worry for the Mumbai team, Bowling coach Shaun Pollock said, “Harbhajan is a great cricketer. I am sure he will come into his own. We have had few discussions about his bowling. As the tournament progresses, he will pick form. He has done well for the team in the past, moreover he is an intelligent leader, I am sure he will come into his element in the coming games.” Speaking about Sachin’s presence back in the team, Pollock said, “It is good to have Sachin back in the side. He brings stability to the team. It is his birthday today, I am sure he would like score runs in tomorrow’s match and go back to Mumbai with a win.”The Indian Express