KXIP upbeat despite loss in first game: McLaren

Updated: Apr 12, 2011, 15:34 PM IST

Chandigarh: The humiliating defeat in their opening match notwithstanding, Kings XI Punjab are hopeful of a turnaround in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League, says all-rounder Ryan McLaren.

Even as McLaren shone with a brilliant individual performance, the seven-wicket defeat to Pune Warriors was not the start Punjab had been looking for.

"It is disappointing when you lose like that. But our morale is still upbeat as it was only the first game. There is no dearth of talent in our squad," McLaren, who struck 51 off 43 deliveries against Pune, told reporters.

The 28-year-old South African said that KXIP may not have big stars in their ranks, but that does not put them in any sort of disadvantage.

"We are relying on our total squad. We are expecting David Hussey to join shortly. Gilly (captain Adam Gilchrist), we have many Indian and domestic talent in the side and we are looking at the whole squad to contribute to our success," he said.

"Gilchrist is awesome, an amazing captain, the way he leads is incredible," he said.

Asked about the prospect of facing defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their next game, McLaren said they are up for the challenge.

"We know it`s going to be a tough match but we will be equal to the task."

He said that at this level, it doesn`t matter whether you play CSK or any other teams because all teams have got world class players.

"They are an awesome team, but there is no shortage of motivation in our unit," he said.

On the massive overhauling of the Punjab outfit, he said it has been the case with all the other teams.

"Most of the teams have changed their squad. There is always a rebuilding phase and we are focusing on how to make best use of what we have," he said.

About the team`s none-too-impressive performances in the past three editions, he said, "We can`t control the past. We are concentrating on our performances at present and taking one game at a time."

"From our batting point of view, we will try to have partnerships going and also try to further improve our fielding," he said.

McLaren, who has played in 10 ODIs and 89 T20s, is delighted to be part of the IPL.

"After India won the World Cup, the great atmosphere that build around their win has carried over to the IPL. As a foreign player, I feel it is a great opportunity to play in the IPL," he said.