Mohali: May 4, 2012
As stakes get higher with each game in the Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist said that his side would look to maintain the winning momentum to ensure a play-off spot.
"We are not looking at the points table with any great interest other than the fact that it feels good to be up there among the top teams. In this tournament, everyone can beat everyone else. Every game is important and we will try and continue to maintain winning streak," Gilchrist said ahead of KXIP's match against Rajasthan Royals tomorrow.
Gilchrist said his side cannot take even the struggling teams lightly and more so Rajasthan Royals, who defeated them hands down in their earlier encounter.
"The reality is that Rajasthan beat us first game up. We don't expect them to be any lesser team just because they have had few reverses in the last week or so," Gilchrist said.
He admitted that KXIP had a "lethargic start" in the tournament but has bounced back in the tournament.
"That was a bit disappointing regarding our opening as we didn't step into action right away. I am sure teams are continuing to produce their best in every game and stakes are getting higher with every game," said Gilchrist, who had his side's top run getter Mandeep Singh seated besides him.
The 40-year-old Australian great has been out of action for a few matches on account of a hamstring injury and the team was being led by David Hussey in his absence.
Asked if the teams would now try and push extra hard to make sure they finish among top four, he said, "I would sort of question why any team hadn't been scrambling to get best performance. You got to be doing that from day one."
On Wednesday, Kings XI pulled off a stunning victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the latter's backyard, a win that catapulted them to the top four in the league table.
KXIP have won five of 10 outings as against Rajasthan's four from 10, but the Jaipur-based team has suffered a string of defeats, including two back-to-back losses at the hands of Delhi Daredevils.
Gilchrist refused to divulge how soon he would be able to play in this edition of the IPL.
"I don't want to speculate on that any further until I am well and truly fit and available," he said.
On Ryan Harris' availability, Gilchrist said, "He is certainly a great addition to us. Unfortunately in the previous game he could bowl only two overs after straining his calf muscle. But he is recovering and recovering well."
Gilchrist praised fielding coach Mike Young, saying, "Fielding has been exceptional. I am impressed with that."
Mandeep, who was the top scorer in the first game against Rajasthan and has been consistent in the tournament so far, said he would look to improve further.
He said that he would try to build on the starts he gets to have a big knock.
In response to a question, he said that it was only in one game against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai that he suffered heat exhaustion.
On tomorrow's game against Rajasthan, Mandeep said, "We are not actually concentrating too much on the points table.
We are doing things the way we can do. Our momentum is going very well."
He said that the inclusion Azhar Mahmood has brought the right balance to the side as the former Pakistani all-rounder, now a British national, has been contributing with both the ball and the bat.
"With him it's a big plus for us," he said.(PTI)