Gilly hoping for a last hurrah

Mohali, April 2 -- Last year, Adam Gilchrist shocked his franchise Kings XI Punjab by announcing his retirement from the Indian Premier League.

He had struggled with injury all through the 2012 season, forcing him to miss as many as nine matches. After the last match, which the team lost to Delhi Daredevils, Gilchrist said he would consider taking up the coaching role for his franchisee.

But 10 months hence, the 41-year-old is back to lead KXIP. But he is reluctant to talk about what forced him to change his mind.

"I would like to honour the last year of my contract with the franchise," was the initial reply. But he finally admitted that perhaps he bit more than he could chew last season - as coach, skipper and wicketkeeper.

Easy to focus

"I tried to do a bit too much. This season with (Darren) Lehmann as coach, I think it will help me focus more on the game and comeback on to the field as a player," Gilchrist said.

"T20 is an intense game and it is good when you have a support unit sitting outside taking care of the larger aspects. Then I as leader can decide the strategies on the field.

"With Lehmann as coach and Mike Young also there to assist, it will make my job easier. WV Raman also brings with him a wealth of experience," he said.

Gilchrist, Lehmann and Young were part of the now defunct Deccan Chargers, which won the IPL season 2 played in South Africa.

Gilchrist said he had worked hard on his fitness.

"Back home, prior to coming here, I was working on my fitness and even played a few matches. Here, I have been hitting the nets regularly to get in shape."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.