Kings XI Punjab captain-cum-coach,Adam Gilchrist,today said there is no “secret tactic” to victory,but added they have a balanced squad that is capable of beating the best in business.
“We necessarily don’t have big list of names that match up with some other franchisees,but we have a balanced squad,” Gilchrist said at the PCA stadium here,four days ahead of their IPL-5 campaign opener against Rajasthan Royals on April 6 at Jaipur.
KXIP may have not won a title so far,but the Aussie insisted they were not going too much into the history,and instead want to derive positives from the past.
The side missed the semis by a whisker in the last edition,but made it to last-four under Yuvraj Singh in IPL-1.
“We have a balanced squad. We are playing competitive cricket. I don’t think there is any secret tactic that will guarantee victory,” he said in response to a question.
Joe Dawes,the newly appointed Indian bowling coach,who will play the same role for KXIP and Mike Young,the side’s fielding coach,were also present at the press conference.
Dawes sounded confident of an improved show.
“I am delighted to be a part of Kings XI Punjab as it is a young and enthusiastic team with some of the best players on its side. I am very confident about team’s performance in IPL season-5 and am looking forward to a great season of cricketing tournament,” said Dawes.
Chief Operating Officer of KXIP,Arvinder Singh and team’s assistant coach Vikram Rathore were also present.
However,in a departure from the past,none of the team’s co-owners were present at the press conference,with flamboyant Preity Zinta also conspicuous by her absence.
Gilchrist said there were some new additions to his team this season,including English pacer Stuart Broad.
“According to original plan,he was supposed to join us on April 8,but keeping in view his calf strain,we will have an update on his condition tonight as he was expected to undergo a scan today,” he said.
Besides Gilchrist and Broad,KXIP have got Shaun Marsh,David Hussey,Ryan Harris,Dimitri Mascarenhas,David Miller,Azhar Mahmood and James Faulkner as overseas players.
While Marsh has already joined the squad,Hussey and Mahmood were expected to join the unit by tomorrow.
“Others are joining us as well. We had allowed some time to Mahmood as his wife was expecting a child in mid-April,” Arvinder said about the Pakistani all-rounder.
KXIP also have Praveen Kumar,Ramesh Powar,Piyush Chawla and Abhishek Nayar apart from the swashbuckling Paul Valthaty.
About his role as a coach,Gilchrist said,”Obviously it is an additional role of being captain-cum-coach or you can call me by whatever name you like,by name of job description.
But it is going to be a combined coaching effort.”
However,being a captain,Gilchrist drove home the point that “good or poor results,the responsibility will be on me”. Referring to Mike Young,Gilchrist said he has vast experience including working with the Australian,Indian and South African team and brings with him high-standard of expertise.
Emphasising on Dawes,Gilchrist said,”He is a terrific operator while Vikram’s presence and his knowledge about domestic players makes our squad a balanced unit,with new additions to our team lending depth in areas (where the team may have lacked earlier)”.
Asked that his team,which has thrown some brilliant individual performances,but failed to fire as a unit,he said it is not just the runs or wickets column that one must go by,as so much goes into contributing to a team effort.
“It’s a game of pace,you’ve got to be versatile,” he pointed out,adding T20 is an unpredictable format,in which one cannot always plan out a role for an individual,who has to play according to the situation.
Asked if IPL-5 will retain the interest of fans with so much cricket being played these days,he said,”I believe last year overall rating plateaued or dropped a bit in the backdrop of India winning the World Cup. But I feel cricket-passionate nation as India is,there should be support this year. I am expecting it (IPL-5) to be evenly fought.”