Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist reached Chandigarh on Tuesday while the team members had their first training session at Sector 16 Cricket Stadium.
FEW days back,at the PCA Stadium in Mohali,the Australian cricket team ran for cover as Shikhar Dhawan went on a rampage,smashing a belligerent century,that sparked a remarkable victory for India and helped them win the series. Not only the Aussies suffered another defeat,they hit another low following the homework-gate fiasco,in which four Australian players- vice-captain Shane Watson,pacers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja- were dropped for the third Test after they failed to carry the task asked by coach Mickey Arthur. The Aussies would not like to visit Mohali any sooner. But not Adam Gilchrist.
In fact,Gilchrist,or Gilly as he is called,must be itching to return to the same ground. After retiring from international cricket,Gilly continued to play in Indian Premier League-first for Deccan Chargers and he later joined Kings XI Punjab in the fourth season.
On Tuesday,Gilly returned to Chandigarh again to lead the Kings in the sixth season of IPL. Even at the age of 41,Gilly still looked fitter than ever on his arrival at Chandigarh Airport in the morning. Wearing a grey tee and olive pant,Gilchirst looked in a jovial mood as he left for the team hotel.
In the meantime,at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium,the other members of the Punjab outfit started their first training session of the new IPL season. While the big names were missing as they are currently serving their respective country/ state teams,the team members looked in good spirit and enjoyed the training session which went almost for two hours. Gilly did not come to the stadium but he is expected to join the camp on Wednesday.
Meanwhile,there are several young guns in the team who will look to get going in the coming days. Manan Vohra, after missing out on some big tournaments due to an injury,would like to get back into some action and score runs for the team. Manan,who was part of the KXIP development squad,was signed by the outfit few weeks ago.
Also,it was the first day for young Rajasthan pacer Aniket Choudhary. After a good outing in the Ranji Trophy last season,Aniket,who was also part of BCCI’s pace bowlers camp at the NCA,will look to form a formidable bowling partnership along with newcomer Sandeep Sharma.
Apart from Mandeep and Aniket,the other players who were present during the training session were Bipul Sharma,Paul Valthaty,Nitin Saini,Harmeet Singh and Siddharth Chitnis among others. The supporting staff members were also present there.
With the new IPL season starting from April 3,the players looked raring to get back into shape. The other team Indian members are currently playing for their respective state teams in the Syed Mushtaq Memorial Cup cricket tournament and are expected to join the team soon. Also the foreign players will start reaching Chandigarh in next few days.
Kings will play their first match on April 7 at Pune against Pune Warriors. They will play their first home match at PCA Stadium in Mohali on April 10 against Chennai Super Kings led by Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.