Kings XI Punjab finished their Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 season on a high and gave their skipper Adam Gilchrist a fitting send off. (Also Read: KXIP vs MI - M69 Report & Stats: IPL 2013)
Although KXIP lost the toss and couple of wickets early on, the 148-run third wicket stand involving Azhar Mahmood (80 off 44) and Shaun Marsh carried the team to a formidable total that proved enough to stop the Mumbai Indians.
Marsh who scored 63 off 47 with 11 boundaries spoke to IPLT20.com about the game and playing under the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist.
Excerpts from the interview:
A comprehensive win against MI, a perfect send off for Adam Gilchrist?
Yes, it definitely was! It couldn’t have been scripted better at the end for him to get that wicket. It has been a fantastic three years with him. The Kings XI have really enjoyed having him around, he has been a world class player for so long and he is a fantastic bloke as well. He is a legend of the game! It was great to see him get the last wicket.
What has it been like to bat alongside him?
It is always a great honour and a thrill when you are walking out with Gilly. And he is someone that not only myself but some of the people look up to around the world and to get an opportunity to play with him. To get to know him a little bit better and become friends with him is something I will never forget.
What was the plan after losing two wickets early?
We knew that I and Azhar (Mahmood) had to just try and build a partnership, give ourselves a little bit of time between two to six overs. We couldn’t really afford to lose another wicket quickly. But Azhar Mahmood played a really exceptional innings. It just shows what a quality player he is.
What is it like batting against Lasith Malinga?
He is a fantastic bowler, a world class bowler and he is always tough to play against him.
Feels good to be amongst runs with a big season ahead?
It is always nice to do well and score a few runs and see wins and that’s the main thing. It was nice to finish off on a nice positive note personally and for the team as well.
Have you at any point felt the need to alter your batting approach for T20, being such a classical player?
Not really. I just know that I have to play to my strengths and if I do that and hopefully by the end of the innings if I am still around and putting the team in a good position. I love playing T20 cricket, I love playing in front of big crowds and it was a nice way to finish on Saturday night.
Where do you think KXIP lost the plot while some other teams managed to pull through?
We probably didn’t start well, and we lost a few games in the middle as well that put us on the back-foot a bit. In the end, coming in the last few games, we had to rely on other results and that’s how we did it and this position we put ourselves in. We have no one else to blame but ourselves. We take a lot of positives out of it as well, from the way we finished. Against the bigger teams we came close to beating them. It gives us a lot of confidence moving forward, I think.
How has it been playing alongside David Hussey?
He is one of the great players around. He is probably one of the best T20 players in the world and to get a chance to play with him and to learn stuff off him is fantastic. I am glad to be able to spend a lot of fun time with him.
How do you sum up your six seasons with KXIP?
I love the Kings XI, I love the franchise. I love the people, I love the owners. It is a great place to play cricket, very friendly people and it has been a lot of fun, the last six years.