Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting's performances have been under more scrutiny than any other player who has failed to fire in the Pepsi Indian Premier League so far.
Their legendary status has made them the most talked about opening pair in the tournament, but the two haven't combined well enough, prompting many to suggest that Twenty20 is just not their cup of tea. Sharing their misery is Adam Gilchrist, another great, struggling with his form with the Kings XI Punjab.
While there have been many detractors, there are some who believe that the three need to be left alone. Kings XI Punjab's Australian recruit David Hussey is among those who have full faith in their abilities.
"Ricky and Sachin need to be left alone and they know their job well enough. People should be worried about own their form and game,” Hussey told MAIL TODAY. While Tendulkar has got 69 runs in five matches so far, Ponting has managed 55 from as many games, which definitely doesn't justify their legendary status.
"They are two of the world's best batsmen and they have the ability and skill to score runs in any format of the game. It is just a matter of time before the two get among runs.” Kings XI Punjab didn't have a great start to the IPL this season and batting has been a major concern for them. Hussey has been playing a lone hand in the team's batting, although there is little to complain about on the bowling front.
One of the reasons why Punjab have not been able to find a strong footing in the tournament so far is the failure of the opening pair. A lot relied on Gilchrist but the attacking left-hander has been struggling with his form.
Gilchrist has, however, been putting long hours at the nets and Hussey backed his captain to come good very soon.
"He hasn't played much between the last two seasons of the IPL. But he is working extremely hard at the nets and once he finds his form, he will be an extremely dangerous batsman,” he said. "Adam has been a fantastic leader and sooner rather than later, he should find his form with the bat as well.”
Gilchrist did show glimpses of his old self in Kings XI Punjab's last match against SunRisers Hyderabad but before he could do any major damage, he was back in the dugout.
Batting is one area where Hussey thinks the team will have to step up. Hussey is the leading run-scorer in the Punjab outfit with 141 runs from five games, which gives a clear picture of the standards that the other batsmen have put up so far.
Hussey, however, is optimistic that things will turn around for good with 11 more league matches to play and expects the team to make it to the semi-finals.
"We are very short in the batting department but we have the players like David Miller and besides, the Indian players are also very good. Hopefully, everyone will combine and we should make it to the semi-finals, which, I believe, would be the goal of every team at this stage.”
Leave Ponting and Tendulkar alone: Hussey
Kings XI Punjab player backs the struggling stars.By Rahul Rawat | Mail Today – Sun 21 Apr, 2013 11:57 AM IST
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