Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist is wary of Kolkata Knight Riders. The former Australia wicket-keeper said at a news conference on Thursday that it was a disappointment for the home fans in Hyderabad, as the matches could not be held there due to the Telangana agitation.
The Chargers started IPL 2009 after finishing at the bottom of the table in the first season of the IPL. The Knight Riders are starting this year's IPL from the same position. Gilchrist spoke on the two teams' chances.
Asked whether Chargers vs Knight Riders was a mismatch, Gilchrist said: “We have started like that before (as the lowest-placed team). So we know we cannot take teams for granted. I don't think it's a mismatch, given the nature of the game and the format. It's a new tournament, that's how I see it.”
Asked on KKR's chances in IPL-3, he said: “They took a controversial approach last year, but I think they have settled down this time. I would expect them to focus on the game and play an aggressive brand of cricket.”
Asked about foreign players being absent due to national duty, Gilchrist said: “Every team has been affected by it, it hasn't surprised me. That's where the management has a role to play. As the first two IPLs showed, this tournament is not about the foreigners but the Indian players.”
Gilchrist said, the first edition of IPL was an unknown concept to everyone.” There was excitement and nervousness all around. But when Brendon McCullum walked out and played that knock (a scintillating century for KKR against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first match of the tournament), and Ganguly and Ponting celebrated a wicket together, those became enduring moments. The reality is that it's a big business, serious business.”
Asked if f IPL has helped Indian cricket, Gilchrist said: “I am impressed with the kind of Indian talent that is seen across the board. The kids are gaining confidence. In the zonal matches (Deodhar Trophy), there have been some fantastic skills on display. But there is a lot more to cricket than T20. It is just one component. Test is the ultimate and that's got to be maintained.”
On the World T20 being held immediately after the IPL, Gilchrist said, “This is going to be a great preparation for the World T20. Sure it's a big workload and IPL needs to be aware that it shouldn't get too big. Modi has commented that it would not take too much time. But in terms of skills and match fitness, this helps in getting into the World Cup.”
On Pakistani players' absence in IPL-3, Gilchrist said: “It did surprise me a bit since they are the current world champions. But there were limited positions and the teams had specific desires. Probably, they would come in next year.”
On Sachin's 200 in ODIs, the Australian former wicketkeeper said: “Only one man could have done it and that was him. It's a tribute to his longevity.”