Mohali: Already reeling under three defeats, Kings XI Punjab on Thursday suffered another blow after skipper Adam Gilchrist was ruled out of Friday's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore due to a hamstring injury. "I will not be available for Friday's match. There is a slight hamstring tear," the 40-year-old Australian told reporters.
Gilchrist pulled a hamstring while running a single and was retired hurt during the match against Kolkata Knight Riders last night here, which the Punjab outfit lost by eight wickets. He said that he had undergone a scan, which has revealed a hamstring tear. "We will wait for further detailed results," Gilchrist said, adding he would keep everyone updated on his injury status.
"There is nothing to hide. I won't be playing on Friday." In Gilchrist's absence, David Hussey will lead the side. Stating that while any sort of injury to any player can be frustrating and disappointing, Gichrist said it throws up opportunity for someone else.
Gilchrist said that Shaun Marsh was the best batsman in this format with plenty of talent and should lend strength to the team's batting, which is struggling. Their bowling, too, has not looked lethal and on Friday they will be up against the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary of the RCB.
Gilchrist blamed the batsmen for the team's failure in the tournament so far. Punjab have managed to win just two out of the five matches. Gilchrist, however, refused to hold the Indian cricketers, particularly the domestic players, responsible for Punjab's dismal show.
"They are certainly a talented bunch," Gilchrist said, citing examples of Mandeep Singh, Paras Dogra and Piyush Chawla. "They have got more than adequate talent to be successful at this level. That's the beauty of IPL. Year after year it has created a window of opportunity for these players and has thrown up some unexpected talents," he added.
Gilchrist insisted that the team is learning from the mistakes. "I am sure we are learning from our frustrations and mistakes previously made and that's all part of the journey of cricket," he said. Asked if, in his place, the former Pakistan allrounder Azhar Mahmood would to included for Friday's tie, Gilchrist said, "He is definitely a look-in."
But Gilchrist also claimed that at this stage he would not be able to say for certain if Mahmood, who recently got a multi-city visa, will be picked in the playing XI. On facing Daniel Vettori's men, he said that in T20 any side can beat any one. Chris Gayle's devastating form must be a cause of immense worry for Punjab but Gilchrist said that the West Indian would have to start from zero.
"Every game is a fresh start. They are a strong, all-round team. They are a confident team and our challenge is to do what we are doing well," he said.