Back in the reckoning after scripting an upset victory over table toppers Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist believes that his team got the required opening to surge ahead.
Kings XI, which was languishing in the bottom half of the table with just six points before Tuesday's match, stunned the much-fancied Mumbai outfit with a 76-run victory after the host managed to put up a competitive 163 on the board at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here.
“It was an all-round performance from us. We put up a respectable total though we finished a little bit short of what we had thought,” Gilchrist said at the post-match press conference.
“The beauty of this (T20) format is that anyone can beat anyone. The win is a tremendous boost for us, more than the fact that it keeps us alive in the tournament. We have got the foot in that door and hopefully it will keep open,” the left-hander added.
Lauding his batsmen, the former Australian wicketkeeper said Kings XI had put up a solid batting effort.
Gilchrist pointed out that it was actually Kings XI's batting that had let the team down in the earlier matches of the tournament.
Gilchrist also had words of praise for Mumbai speedster Lasith Malinga, who is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 26 scalps.
“He (Malinga) has come of age. He is the most dangerous T20 bowler. He has a lethal yorker, slipping bouncer and a lot of variation in his bowling,” he said.
The Kings XI captain was also of the view that the loss wouldn't affect Mumbai much.
Asked about Bollywood star and Kings XI co-owner Preity Zinta's motivational speech to the team on Sunday after it's loss to Pune Warriors, Gilchrist said, “She is a talented, articulate and intelligent lady. She has full belief in the team's abilities and told us to focus away from the defeats we had suffered and give our best.”
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard refused to buy the suggestion that overconfidence had let the team down against bottom-ranked Kings XI.
“No, we were not over confident. We came here to win,” he said, adding that it was just one of those days when they played “bad cricket”.
“Sometimes, it happens and we got to learn from it,” Pollard said.
Asked whether he is in favour of a window in ICC's Future Tours Programme for the IPL, Pollard said, “It would be great for all the players.”
Kings XI left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt, who won the Man-of-the-match award for his impressive figures of four for 22, said he was not overawed by the might of Mumbai Indians' batting line-up.
“Praveen Kumar took two key wickets, which helped me later on,” he said.— PTI