Adam Gilchrist preponed his retirement by a year after he dropped a catch offered by VVS Laxman at the Adelaide Test four years ago. During a chat with The Indian Express,the Kings XI Punjab captain-cum-coach spoke about how some players know when is the right time to quit. Excerpts:
It is how you look at it but age is just a number and it is important to have a professional outlook. In my opinion,age cannot be a seen as a restriction in modern cricket. If one is fit enough then he can prolong his career. It becomes more challenging with every passing year though. But experience can be an asset in T20 cricket too.
What are your views on the future of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman following the retirement of Rahul Dravid?
It is their call. I am no one to speculate on the future of these legends. It is commendable that Dravid decided to call it quits,irrespective of the fact that he was still doing well in Tests except for the poor series in Australia. As far as Tendulkar and VVS go,it is up to them when they want to say goodbye. They have had spectacular careers and one should not impose anything on them. They would themselves know when its time.
In your view what led to Indias 0-4 loss in Australia?
I reckon the Indians were done in by top class bowling from the Australians. Their batting failed in different situations. Even the Australians were surprised by the way Ben Hilfenus and Peter Siddle bowled against the Indians. I think Siddle was re-born. They were a strong bowling unit with tremendous control. Experienced players like Sachin,Dravid,VVS and Sehwag didnt put together large partnerships.
Do you believe there is scope for another wicket-keeper in the India team,especially in Tests?
I dont think Dhoni makes blunders while keeping wickets. But there are exciting prospects like Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel,who are very good behind the stumps and are good batsmen too. Dhoni should be on the toes with such competition around.
How do you see your role as captain-coach and also a frontline batsman for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 5?
I wont be burdened with the role of captain-coach. I have always been involved in everything possible during IPL and in fact I am keen on doing the double role. Plus we have capable coaching staff too. Though Michael Bevan will be missed,Kings XI Punjab will have Mike Young as the fielding coach,former Queensland pacer Joe Dawes will be the bowling coach,while Vikram Rathore will be the assistant coach.
How difficult is it for you to get back into competition considering that you havent played since the previous edition of the IPL?
Though I have not played international cricket for the past four years,I have enjoyed my previous IPL stints be it for Deccan Chargers or Kings XI Punjab. I have been following a strict fitness regime and have also been practicing back at home. I am extremely fit,well prepared.
What does the inclusion of Dimitri Mascarenhas,Stuart Broad and Azhar Mahmood mean for Kings XI Punjab?
It was unfortunate that Mascarenhas and Broad could not play in the last IPL because of their respective injuries. Both of them will boost our bowling line-up. Azhar Mahmood is a fine all-rounder and a T20 specialist. He has performed well in the T20 championships in England and recently also performed in the Bangladesh Premier League. Such players will provide new dimension to our outfit.