Kolkata: Under pressure he might be after repeated failures with the bat, but Kings XI Punjab captain and Australian veteran Adam Gilchrist has learned not to feel "shattered" by poor form as it is not a matter of "life and death" for him.
"It goes without saying I've under performed to this point. Obviously, I'm not hitting the balls the way I used to hit. I understand that," Gilchrist said after KXIP went down to Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday. "But I'm not shattered... I'm playing and enjoying it. It's not life and death. That's probably one of the great things about a little bit of maturity," the 41-year-old veteran Aussie said of his poor run (94 from eight matches at an average of 11.75).
The under-fire skipper said he was trying his best to contribute as a batsman. "I did more practice leading into this tournament than what I had in any other one. It was nice to get some runs in the middle. Everything felt really good today until I played that shot," he said referring to his soft dismissal with a straight catch to Eoin Morgan.
"Obviously you get disappointed and frustrated to get out after feeling good for 20-odd runs. You are never really happy as a batsman. Yes, I'll try to lift the game and contribute to the team."
KKR snapped their three-match losing run with a six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab that revived the defending champions hope in the IPL.
Gilchrist said Morgan took the game away from them with a quick-fire 26-ball 42. "Jacques [Kallis] and [Manvinder] Bisla did well to steady the ship but Morgan was the difference in the end. Morgan really took the challenge up and a lot of credit should go to him," Gilchrist said.
He further said his team was "surprised" to see Kallis in the line-up as he had an injury scare in the last match. "I must say I thought Jacques was not turning up today! What's going on there... He surprised us," Gilchrist said.
"Jacques had a great game with both bat and ball," the Aussie said of the South African, who had a tidy bowling performance (4-0-14-2) before his 37 in a 66-run partnership with Bisla pulled KKR through.
Stressing that 150 was defendable especially after they had the opposition down to 10 for 2 with two wickets in successive balls, Gilchrist said: "I thought 150 was pretty competitive. We got breakthroughs early and were always in the hunt before Morgan came in."
Defending his bowlers, Gilchrist said: "It was very sweaty and moist out there. In both innings, the ball was difficult to grip. Overall, the bowlers have performed admirably."
Their last match's hero Harmeet Singh had an off day with the ball and Gilchrist said, "He started well today. Probably he would be a bit disappointed with the way he executed a few of his deliveries."
"Harmeet bowled a terrific ball right on the middle stump line but it disappeared to fine leg for four. It is impressive. That takes the question to what's affecting batting in Test cricket, if it is or not... I'm not here to pass judgement but in this format it's wonderful."
Gilchrist said he has always been a hitter of the ball, even though he had seen batsmen experimenting with reverse sweep early in his career. "There was reverse sweep. I remember Jonty Rhodes doing way back in 1997 - really hard reverse sweeps, actually smacking the ball for six. I was just flabbergasted by that," he said.
"It's not totally new. That innovation was there right through my career. But I never chose to go that way. I was more of a hitter of the ball."