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I enjoy batting with Gibbs, accepts Gilchrist


Posted: May 05, 2009 at 1542 hrs IST

Durban: Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist has said the last year's bottom-placed team was constantly improving by getting its basics right and a special focus on fielding.

"Obviously, we were disappointed with our results last year and wanted to improve. I think our performances have been good because we've done the basics well," Gilchrist said referring to the team's early results which saw them as table-toppers in the early stages of the tournament.

The team is placed fourth at present with four wins from seven matches it has played so far.

"We also put in a lot of hard work during our pre-tournament camp in Pretoria. Apart from honing skills that also helped us create a good team spirit," the former Australian wicketkeeper batsman told a TV channel.

Gilchrist also said the team was working on all aspects of their game and the one thing that the Chargers have focused on has been their fielding.

With livewires like Herschelle Gibbs, Rohit Sharma and Azhar Bilakhia on the field, that would have come easy to the men in bright blue.

Like his former Aussie team mate Shane Warne, Gilchrist has also been able to nurture the young talent in the team. "With the likes of Bilakhia and Tirumalsetti Suman, the team is bristling with energy. We encourage them to inject their youth and enthusiasm into the side."

"We are also mindful of letting them know that they have to work hard and push for opportunities when they come their way," Gilchrist said.

The southpaw reckoned that class is permanent, no matter whatever format of the game and that is one reason that has seen the likes of Matthew Hayden, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar and Gilchrist himself set the SA shores on fire.

"They are all class players. That allows them to draw on past experiences of playing in these conditions before. That said, the competition as a whole is definitely harder going this year than last. VVS will play a huge role," he said.

Though, Gilchrist felt the wickets in South Africa have favoured spinners, he had a word of praise for his slow left-arm weapon, Pragyan Ojha.

"Pragyan has put a lot of thought and effort into his bowling which has been the reason for his success."

Gilchrist also revealed how much he loved batting with South African opener and his Deccan mate Herschelle Gibbs.

"Gibbs and I really enjoy bating together. That is what makes it so special. Most teams need a dynamic opening pair and I think we've got that."

Gilchrist, unlike most other players did not seem too upset with the IPL being shifted out of India, saying the tournament being hosted in South Africa would benefit the IPL in the long run.

"In the long term, being out here will only make the tournament grow. It's been extremely well received by the South African public and credit must go to the IPL and Cricket South Africa for putting the event on in such a short period of time," he said.

Gilchrist, who has mustered 210 runs in the second edition of the IPL and clobbered as many as 13 sixes said it was good to see cricket evolve the way it has, thanks to the emergence of the IPL.

"Cricket is evolving to new levels and this competition has captured the imagination of players, administrators and most importantly spectators."

"One of the ways it's done that is through its ties with Bollywood. Having said that, 20/20 is a skilful game as well which has also captured attention."

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