Mohali: Comprehensively beaten on their home turf by Kolkata Knight Riders, a disappointed Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist said his team failed as a batting unit. "It was a combination of some poor batting [by us] and very good bowling by KKR. We have been inconsistent. We got off to a decent start, probably one of the better [ones] we have had in five games, but that was cut short when I came off [retired hurt]. We haven't put together a comprehensive batting display at all. There is no doubt about that," the 40-year-old Australian told reporters after the IPL match on Wednesday.
Batting first after winning the toss, Punjab could manage only 124 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Losing opener Paul Valthaty early, Gilchrist tried to maintain pace by hitting some quick runs but pulled a hamstring and was retired hurt. Punjab's middle-order tumbled without any significant contribution and the only six of their innings was hit by Gilchrist in the final over after he returned at the end of 17th. Gilchrist also top-scored, remaining unbeaten on 40, his best score so far in the tournament.
When asked how serious was his injury, Gilchrist replied, "I will sit with the physio and find out whether I will need a scan or not. When I was out there [off the field], it didn't get any worse."
Punjab started their IPL 5 campaign losing two games before winning the third against Pune Warriors India here last week and then going on to beat KKR at Kolkata. "We've got to play better than what we have, as a general rule. We have to play better cricket. We are not far off the post and we obviously feel we can improve," the Punjab skipper said.
Punjab batsman Shaun Marsh (33) was controversially dismissed when his edge off a Brett Lee delivery was taken low down by KKR wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla, who nodded that he had taken the catch. The on-field umpire subsequently ruled him out even though TV replays suggested there was a doubt.
Asked what he felt about the catch, Gilchrist said, "On replays, I am not convinced with that. I thought there was a huge element of doubt there. Shaun asked the wicketkeeper, which I must say, is fairly the way how I opt to play the game. He asked the wicketkeeper, who said yes he caught it, so he walked off."
Gilchrist, who is also the coach and wicketkeeper of the Punjab team and a veteran of 96 Tests and 287 ODIs, said he accepts the umpire's decision. "We accept that decision. We all get bad decisions and we have to get on with that. We have seen already a controversy in this tournament on something like that happen, which was not a pretty incident," he said.
Asked about team co-owner Preity Zinta, who was upset with the umpire's decision when the incident occurred in the 14th over, Gilchrist said from the sidelines he had only told her that he would handle it. "From the sidelines, I just said, please let me just handle this and she responded. She just went straight back and sat down. She is a passionate supporter, a team co-owner and a fan of this game. I do not know what she was going to say to me when I told her that I will handle this, after which she respected that and sat down," he said.