Indian Premier League auction 2011 January 10, 2011

Gilchrist to captain Kings XI Punjab

57

Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia wicketkeeper, will be the captain of Kings XI Punjab for the fourth season of the IPL, the Punjab coach Michael Bevan has said. Bevan said Punjab bought Gilchrist, who led Hyderabad to the trophy in the IPL's second season, specifically for his leadership skills. Gilchrist was bought on the first day of the auction for $900,000.

"The main reason we picked him was because he is the captain," Bevan, who was appointed Punjab coach four days before the auction, said. He also brushed aside any fears of form or fitness issues Gilchrist might have considering he is the second oldest player in the IPL at 39 years. "Even if he is not at the peak of his career, I still feel as a leader he has a lot to offer. In Twenty20 cricket you are not asking the guy to strike at 120 in the opening position. You are asking for guys to strike at 140 or 150 and Gilly is the type of player who can turn in three or four match-winning performances over the season."

It was Gilchrist who contacted Bevan, with whom he played alongside in the 1999 and 2003 World Cup winning sides, as soon as he heard the news. "He pretty much rang back straightaway and has been involved in the team-building process in the auction after that. That is a great sign; him lending his experience with some of the players he has played with. As a coach, you want your captain immersed in what we are trying to achieve."

Gilchrist was the first player bought by Punjab, on January 8. They proceeded to buy 10 more players, with only four Indian players, the backbone of any IPL team, adding wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, batting allrounder Abhishek Nayar, legspinner Piyush Chawla and seamer Praveen Kumar.

Bevan reckoned spending big money on some of the Indian players might have been a gamble, but he did admit he was new at the IPL poker table. "I was not sure paying two million for a really good player would pay off, but we will wait and see." Punjab had at their disposal a purse of $9 million, but came out of the auction with $2.17 million left unspent. Though he did not say it plainly, Bevan confessed Punjab might have erred in not risking more money on players. "Perhaps we misread the market a little and misread the pricing. There was some fever-pitch bidding, with Indian players going for sky-high prices which we never expected."

Even though he knew Indian players would go for pretty high prices because there were only 48 of them, Bevan was surprised by how much some of the younger players got. "There was always going to be a premium on the Indian players. We were happy to go with some good solid younger players, but even they went for lots of money."

Punjab lost out on several players whom they started to bid for, only to be outbid by other franchises. Mahela Jayawardene, who played for them in the first three seasons of the IPL, was bought by Kochi for $1.5 million after Punjab had made a $1.4 million bid. They bid the same amount for Yuvraj Singh, Punjab's captain in the first two seasons and their icon player, only to lose him to the new Pune franchise for $1.8 million. They also lost bidding wars for Australia allrounder Cameron White, India batsman Rohit Sharma, and allrounder Irfan Pathan, who was part of their team for the first three seasons.

Bevan pointed out that the team owners had decided to stick to a certain budget. "As a coach you also got to go with your budget constraints and hence we had to work out the pricing. It is all part of the big picture. It is just not having the ability to get anyone you want."

Punjab will now have to fill up the rest of their squad with the uncapped Indian players and India Under-19 players.

Bevan admitted that taking over as the Punjab coach is the most high-profile job he has ever done, and said the fact he entered late into the piece meant he was a little bit nervous before the auction. But he remains confident of Punjab's prospects because of the presence of Gilchrist.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • atulcricket on January 13, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    Somebody please tell Kumble to stay away from negotiating or asking players to play for RCB. its a torture on players. Please kumble stay away from asking players. you can be mentor or whatever but please please as a president of KCA its really bad on your part to ask players to play for RCB. no matter how decently you ask them but they will always be scared of refusing to you.

    I really feel sad for players and will feel more sad if I will have to hate you for this as have always been your fan and have prayed for your presidency (before election).

    I even dreamed of you being BCCI president one day (even you might not have thought about that as early). I just don't understand how a Legend like you didn't see anything wrong in this??

  • Hamza.Aziz on January 13, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    BORING IPL WITHOUT PAK PLAYERS ITS JUST WASTE OF TIME

  • dummy4fb on January 12, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Punjab - Gaps in mid order but strong at the top and bottom 1 Gilchrist, 2 Marsh, 3 Hussey, 4 Karthik, 5 Harris/Mascarenhas/ Broad/Rimmington, 6 Praveen, 7 Chawla, 8 Abhishek Nayar (they need two more uncapped batsman and one more uncapped bowler)

  • selvasnz on January 12, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    IPL teams don't need any aussies as captain or coach, if it so, they will go for picking only aussie players, as if they are going to win, the team owners will learn a lesson, soon.

  • Rokingrishav on January 12, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Great to see Gilly as a captain again but some good batsman lack in the team.They also lack one qualityspinner anyway......................................

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Hopefully this time the fate supports Gilchrist and he leads Punjab to victory and bring some joy to the depressed Punjab Camp

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    yes it is good to have gilly as a captain but at the same time who will takes the cloves behind the stumps Dinesh Karthik or Adam Gilchrist???????????????

  • nyroot on January 11, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Gilly to captain Punjab and most probably Sangakarra will become captain of Deccan... interesting. As a Deccan fan, one hard feeling that I have is that Gilly did not give us a single victory at Hyderabad and he just cannot playing spin bowling.

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Damnnnnn only 48 players in country containing population of over 150 carore people. Now this is sad. Fast bowlers are like water in desert for India. India thinks that by playing IPL they'll get more talent but i am afraid to say that this wont help. Cricket is about natural skills and Inda has quite few of them like Sachin, Raina, Yuvraj, Kumble but upcomming lot of players are failed to match these legends. I am a cricket lover I love Sachin Tendulker but i am afraid that after him we are not going to witness any player like him again.

  • smartguy786 on January 11, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    SInce they are no Pakistanio Players, We have no interest in IPL, Sorry to say the IPL guys have missed out Big

  • No featured comments at the moment.