Manpreet (Gony) Grewal’s maiden flirtation with the spotlight came during season one of the Indian Premier League, where he finished joint highest wicket-taker for Chennai Super Kings.
Since then, the 29-year-old, who’s played two ODIs for India, has been able to muster only middling performances.
After a two-season stint with the now-defunct Deccan Chargers, Grewal was picked up by Kings XI Punjab in this year’s auction. In an interview with select journalists on Tuesday, the KXIP paceman spoke about the new challenge, his relationship with coach Darren Lehmann and captain Adam Gilchrist, and the team’s ability to put up a fight.
Here are some excerpts:
It’s a good feeling because every player wants to play in front of his home crowd. It’s been my dream for a while to play for Kings XI Punjab. The team has been looking to buy me at the auction during the last two years and it finally happened.
On working with Gilchrist and Lehmann
I have worked with Lehmann at Deccan (Chargers). He’s the kind of coach who doesn’t put players under pressure and ensures they enjoy the game.
He looks after the team like family and treats everyone alike.
I interacted with Gilchrist during a practice match yesterday and found that he’s very down to earth. I never got the feeling that I was meeting him for the first time. It’s great to discuss the game with guys like (Matthew) Hayden and Gilchrist.
Dip in fortunes after IPL-I
Ups and downs are part of a sportsman’s life. I did well for Chennai Super Kings in the first season but things didn’t go right after that.
I am confident of making a fresh start with Kings XI this year.
Kings XI Punjab has come up with good performances, but success has remained elusive. You need luck on your side too.
This year, every player has prepared extensively and is determined to help the team win the title.
The pace pack
The wicket in Mohali offers a lot of pace and bounce. Azhar Mahmood is a legend and he’s a good mentor to fast bowlers.
We have also got Praveen Kumar, who’s teaching us several variations.
My target is to perform well in the IPL and play for my country again. I want to keep playing for a long time.
Role in the team
My role will depend on the captain’s requirement. I have a few variations up my sleeve, but I don’t want to talk about them. I would much rather demonstrate them on the field.