Gilchrist to play for Kings XI Punjab in 2013 IPL

Former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist today said that in all likelihood he would be playing in next year's Indian Premier League, a day after Kings XI Punjab retained the wicket-keeper batsman in its initial squad for the 2013 edition of the event.

"Before the sixth edition of the IPL begins the side has been sorting the team list and the franchisee has made the decision of including me in the playing list. So there is a good likelihood that I might play in IPL-6. We are getting our strategies worked out, let us see how things shape up," Gilchrist said.

During the last edition of the cash-rich tournament, Gilchrist had hinted that he might not feature in the 2013 edition of the IPL.

Turning out for Kings XI, the left-hander did not have a great outing during the previous season of the Twenty20 league and remained out of action for most part of the tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Asked about Australia's upcoming tour to India early next year, Gilchrist said: "It is going to be a big tour. It will be a terrific challenge. We have learnt a lot from our previous visits to India. There is lot to happen in the upcoming series and I am eagerly awaiting for the contest."

"But before the tour starts, both Australia and India have a lot of work to do. Australia is developing well under Michael Clarke. They are improving as a side and personally Micheal has been able to step-up his results also," he said.

Australia will play South Africa later this month, while India will be locked in a terse battle with England at home.

Gilchrist begs to differ with the reported comment of Sunil Gavaskar that the current Indian outfit is the weakest in the last two decades.

"First time I am hearing anything like that. But personally I don't think it is weaker than any other team," he said.

"Like Australia, India is also going through a transition. If you take (Glenn) McGrath and Shane (Warne) out of the Australian team you won't get the same old team. Same is the case with the Indian middle-order," said Gilchrist, who will turn 41 of November 14.

"There is only one guy among the big-four who is still playing and that is the little god (Sachin Tendulkar) himself. The team is going through a transition and if you lose players of the calibre of (Rahul) Dravid, (VVS) Laxman and (Sourav) Ganguly, the team is obviously going to be affected," Gilchrist said.

Asked whether the upcoming series will be make-or-break for Tendulkar, Gilchrist said that the senior batsman is not someone who will like to stay on at the cost of his team.

"Recently for the first time he has talked about his retirement, so there is a thought running in his mind. But I believe he has earned the right of deciding when to call it quits.

"I for one know that Sachin is someone who will not sacrifice the teams interest for his personal gains. If he is not scoring runs I am sure he will not like to be in the team," he said.

Tendulkar is currently playing for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, and the former Aussie Test veteran said: "He is playing in the Ranji Trophy which indicates that he is desperate to score for his team."

Asked about Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his tryst with captaincy off-late in all the three formats of the game, Gilchrist said the Indian skipper is one who "thrives on leadership".

"Since his coming to the Indian team and particularly after taking the responsibility of a captain he has done really well. I have complete admiration for him. He is calm and composed in tough conditions and I admire him for that.

"Personally speaking it is very difficult. Probably too much for me, but Dhoni is someone who thrives on the leadership role. He has given India the World Cup and No. 1 standing in the Test cricket," Gilchrist said.

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