Mohali: He is out with an injury but Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist played the role of a mentor to perfection when he lavished praise on Piyush Chawla, who leaked 27 runs in the 19th over to pave the way for Mumbai Indians' win. Instead of blaming Chawla, Gilchrist decided to praise Robin Peterson whose innovative switch hits got MI back into the game. "I think we should celebrate the positive cricket played by Peterson," Gilchrist, who is currently out with a hamstring injury, told reporters after the match. "A reverse sweep, switch hit, slog to the boundary."
Chasing 169 to win in 20 overs, MI surpassed the target with a ball to go.
Defending stand-in captain David Hussey's decision to use Chawla in the 19th over, Gilchrist said he had bowled very well in the first three overs. "When you are in an important situation, I am sure every captain will go to his best bowlers," he said.
Gilchrist said that Chawla was disappointed and that he had had a chat with him after the match. "He has a good record in the tournament and I told him he needs to look ahead," he said. He also said that Hussey has captained well in his absence. Gilchrist while responding to a question said no total can be safe the way T20s were being played these days. "No situation is lost until the last ball has been bowled," he said.
Medium pacer Parvinder Awana, who had brought Punjab back in the hunt taking two crucial wickets in the 18th over including that of Rohit Sharma, also earned praise from Gilchrist. "He has brought a real breath of fresh air with his bowling," he said. MI's Ambati Rayudu (34 no) and Robin Peterson (17 no) creamed legspinner Chawla for 27 runs in the penultimate over to snatch a stunning four-wicket victory.
Peterson and Rayudu helped the visitors chase down the target. In a separate interaction with reporters, left-arm spinner Peterson said the victory would act as a catalyst for them in the matches up ahead. "Well, you back each other when you are under pressure. It could be a catalyst, but there is still a long way to go," he said. He said MI bowlers did exceptionally well and the team was confident of chasing down the total. He gave credit to Rohit Sharma and Rayudu, who batted sensibly to guide his side to victory.