Gilchrist to lead Kings XI Punjab: Bevan

Michael Bevan

The coach of the Mohali-based outfit and the Ranji Trophy team of Orissa spoke about the challenges ahead after the second day of the IPL auction. Excerpts:

Given the muddle surrounding Kings XI Punjab, how difficult was it for you to accept the job?

It wasn’t difficult. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the IPL. Obviously, it’s a great competition. There were circumstances in respect of Kings XI beforehand but once they were sure that they were a part of IPL IV, they brought me on board. So for me, it was a decision based on the fact that they were playing IPL IV. No major dramas, although there was a fairly short time to get the act together before the auction. That was a bit of a challenge.

You did not have too much time to study the players and prepare for the auction...was that a dampner?

Ideally, we would have liked to prepare a lot longer but that couldn’t happen. So, we just put in a lot of research in the time that we got. But I am very happy with the results and the players we have got. That’s the main thing. I think we have got some really good players, who are really competitive. That was the case while selecting the side in the auction.

I know there were some fantastic players and superstars of Twenty20 cricket out there in the auction. But I wanted to build a good side. Maybe not the best players but good players as a team. Now it’s up to us to play the way we have to and make a mark in the IPL IV.

There never was any serious bidding for Yuvraj Singh from your part, but considering his local fan following was there any pressure in the auction to bid for him?

He is a local star and the franchises like those kind of marquee players. He is a fantastic talent and a superstar in his own way. And we wanted to get him. But the decision (to let Yuvraj go) had to be made more because of the budgetary constraints more than anything. Since we already had a guy for over a million, it was more because of the financial side than anything else.

 Does that mean Gilchrist wasn’t the first choice as captain?

When you go into an auction, you always have to have a couple of options. It was the same for every role that we have as we go down the list. Gilly was one of those guys.

Is Gilchrist a choice to captian the side then? 

Adam will be the captain. Yes, he will lead the team and that’s why we picked him.

 Even though you have the nucleus of your squad in place, do you have enough time to unearth the domestic talent and get acquainted with them?

I am reasonably familiar with the local talent but obviously there is an element of trust in our team, so we have to rely on people who are watching out for the local talent and bringing information back to us. That gives a good picture on where they are, what they are good at and whether they fit into our team. I am pretty comfortable with how we are going to select the locals. That’s not really a big issue.  

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