Mumbai: Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist on Saturday conceded that his side does not have big names in the line-up but said he was confident of getting the right mix at the earliest for them to perform well in the Indian Premier League.
"We have got some lot of local, younger and exciting Indian kids. We have not got star studded lineups like some other teams. We are trying to make sure we play well," said the former Australian stumper ahead of his side`s opening match against Yuvraj Singh-led debutants Pune Warriors at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tomorrow.
"It`s a great opportunity. New franchise, new team mates, new coach with whom I have had the good fortune of playing together for ten years or so (for Australia). We are getting to know the team and trying to get the balance right. It will take a little bit of time but we feel it is on track," said Gilchrist who led Deccan Chargers from no hopers to title winners in IPL II held in South Africa in 2009.
Gilchrist said because of the number of player movements this season, a lot of teams would take time to get settled, barring perhaps Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians who have managed to retain a lot of their original players.
"There were a lot of player movements between teams. It will be an interesting time as teams get resettled. Mumbai and Chennai, perhaps, have had least movements and won`t take quite as much time (to settle)," he said.
"We have had a really good week`s practice; getting to know each other. Are ready to go out and play good cricket."
Talking about himself, Gilchrist, a member of the great Australian team that won three World Cup on the trot, said though he did not play serious cricket barring representing English country Middlesex in a T20 tournament after last year`s IPL, he had come prepared by training at home.
"Since the last IPL I had a little stint with Middlesex in their T20 competition over there. That`s the only official cricket (I played). Had been training at home in Perth, getting some good sessions in fitness, batting and keeping wise," he said.
"I feel fresh. I hear a lot of players saying obviously only a week off from World Cup to this (IPL) (there) is not much time. There will be a few jaded players, a few players who are worn out. Fortunately I don`t have that concern.”
"I feel refreshed and excited. (But) it`s a grueling tournament and by the end of six weeks everyone is exhausted; players administrators, press men," he said.
Gilchrist felt confident that his team had adequate spin cover as they have India`s World Cup-winning leg spinner Piyush Chawla and Australian David Hussey.
"Piyush is obviously an international standard bowler. Hoping he can produce his best cricket. We have got other very adequate spin bowlers. We have batsmen who can bowl. David Hussey comes to mind. Probably he`s a bit more than part time in the short version cricket. We feel comfortable at the moment. Hopefully it`s enough for us," he declared.
On his opposite number Yuvraj, who emerged as the man of the tournament in the World Cup, Gilchrist said the left-handed Indian was one dangerous batsmen in the tournament who needed to be stopped at the earliest.
"He’s a world class player at his best and there are many of those in this tournament. He`s one of the dangerous players in that team tomorrow we will do all to try and stop him tomorrow. When he`s playing against someone else I love watching him bat," said Gilchrist.
Gilchrist, who was among the packed crowd that watched the memorable India-Sri Lanka World Cup final last Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium, said that the best team won the title.
"It was great to be there. It was a wonderful game of cricket. In the euphoria of winning it`s easy to forget how good a match it was.”
"Sri Lanka played very well, (Mahela) Jayawardene exceptionally well, to get that total (274). I could sense the tension around that ground almost from the time India lost the toss. And then the run chase was just perfect, perfectly timed. The best team in the competition won, I think. It`s well done, to India," he said in praise of Dhoni and his men.
Coach Michael Bevan felt there was a lesser need for finishers like him in the shortest format of the game.
"There are many facets and skills to cricket. Finishing is part of it, but there`s lesser need for it in a T20 game. The nature of game suggests you need to get more boundaries especially in death overs, the last 5 overs. I am just hoping we play good consistent cricket whether at the start or finish," he said.
Bevan felt South African Ryan McLaren was the ideal man to fill in the absent Stuart Broad`s shoes.
"Injuries are part and parcel of the game. Not all players are 100 per cent fit after the World Cup. Stuart Broad was one of my top picks, a great bowler who can bat and it’s disappointing, given his injuries.”
"But we also have South Africa`s Ryan McLaren who can fill in those shoes. We are pretty well stocked in that (all rounders`) department," he said.
Bevan is excited about harnessing young Indian players` talent and developing their consistency.
"I started with Tasmania as assistant coach and coached Chennai Super Stars in ICL (Indian Cricket League). It`s something I enjoy very much. I am looking forward to my coaching stint with Kings XI.”
"One of the things I like about coaching in India is there are so many talented players. I want to help local players develop consistency and harness their talents.”
"My overall strategy was to have a good all round team with good players, where we had the opportunity to have some flexibility, and pick players with good attitude," he said.