At 40,he may be the elderly statesman in the IPL full of youngsters but newly appointed coach-cum-captain of Kings XI Punjab Adam Gilchrist said it is all about shouldering responsibilities and the “buck would stop with him” as he is looking to inspire his side for a pathbreaking season five.
In this one-year,his association with cricket is limited to hitting a few balls from his close friend Geoff Marsh or coaching his 10-year-old son Harry.
In fact,the last time he played in a competitive match was in IPL IV in 2011 but the highly successful Australian wicketkeeper and explosive opener is not short on confidence.
“I’m feeling fresh and full of energy. It’s fantastic to be back,” Gilchrist told PTI from Mohali,all geared up for their opener against Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
Gilchrist said he is enjoying his dual role which he describes as a task to coordinate the players with his highly efficient support staff.
“I would not have taken this job (coach),if I was not enjoying it. I’m more than happy and feeling positive about it. It’s about taking responsibility and I know the buck stops with me.”
Gilchrist,who was part of the invincible Aussies that won hattrick of World Cups from 1999-2007,retired from international cricket in 2008 but it’s the annual Indian T20 extravaganza that brings balance to his life.
“These days,I’m busy with my business venture of Indian sandalwood besides being the ambassador of a university. Also I’m busy with Harry who is excited about his U-11 cricket,” he said.
“I don’t need something extra to motivate myself. I do boxing training everyday and once in a while hit a few balls from my very good friend Geoff Marsh… In such a lifestyle,IPL gives the nice balance. I’m fortunate to be part of this tournament.”
Gilchrist praised his support staff which includes two more Aussies in Joe Dawes,the current Indian bowling coach,and former Australian fielding consultant Mike Young as the Kings fielding coach,besides former wicketkeeper Vikram Rathour.
“Young is one of the great motivators and has very high standards. Also the Indian bowling coach Dawes and Rathour have great knowledge of the game. As long as you have a good support staff,the task becomes easier for me in the middle.”
Asked whether the side would be over dependent on him and Shaun Marsh,Gilchrist said: “We are relatively unknown side but there are some exciting talents like James Faulkner to watch out for.
“We are looking to make the semifinal first,from then on anything is possible in this format. Hope we get off to a positive start,” he added.
He further hoped that the allrounders such as new recruit Azhar Mahmood,the only Pakistani player in this IPL,contribute to the side.
The biggest challenge,he said,would come from two-time defending champions Chennai Super Kings,Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“They have got the money. The three teams with the biggest budget… They look the best side on paper but in T20 any team can win on a given day,” he said.