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Friday, April 22, 2011

Michael Clarke is a tactical captain but it is a big job : Adam Gilchrist

Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist feels it would be a big challenge for Michael Clarke to lead the country after Ricky Ponting stepped down from the post following its quarterfinal exit in the World Cup.

According to the Kings XI Punjab captain, Clarke looks to be tactically sound and has a good understanding of the game but said it would all boil down to handling pressure on and off the field.

"Clarke is a tactical captain. He has a good understanding of the game. But it is a big job and it would be a challenge for him to understand the full responsibility of leading a team on the field and also to deal with things off the field," Gilchrist said on the eve of his team's IPL match against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.

"Also to deal with the pressure when his own performance comes under scanner. But he looks excited and desperate to do well and I wish him all the best," he added.

Punjab have won three games on the trot after losing the initial two and one of the factors behind the turn around has been Paul Valthaty, who is leading the run charts with 247 runs at 82.33.

Asked if he sees the 27-year-old making it to the Indian team in near future, Gilchrist said if he can maintain his consistency on the field and composure off it, he will surely earn more success in future.

"I don't know what Team India is planning, I mean they will tour West Indies and there are expectations of people. Paul is trying hard to do well, he is working hard and he has a very calm approach. If he doesn't get flustered by the adulation and can maintain his approach, it will surely lead him to more success," Gilchrist said.

The Sri Lanka cricket board's demand that national players involved in the IPL return to prepare for the England tour has reignited the club versus country debate and Gilchrist said for him country should always be the priority.

"Country should always be priority in my opinion. IPL is an Indian domestic competition which we are very fortunate to play as international players but if your country wants you to play then that should always be the priority and its upto the individual and country to decide how they want to go about it," the 39-year-old said.

Asked about the secret of leading Deccan Chargers, a team that struggled in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, to title triumph in the next season, and then turning the fortunes for another team this year, Gilchrist said it is all about gelling as a team.

"I think it is all about group effort, it is not one person's game. Captains need to know the players well, we have a very jovial and funny environment and we gelled well," he said.

Delhi Daredevils have planned a green top for the Kotla wicket for Saturday's humdinger and Gilchrist said though he hasn't seen the track, he is confident of his team doing well in any wicket.

"Historically Kotla has a history of being slow and dead wicket where the ball keeps low and we will see what is in strongly when we get there tomorrow, can't really speculate from here sitting at the hotel room. But whatever is the case, we have the squad to be effective on whatever situation we are in," he said.

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