Mumbai:Deccan Chargers' title defence did not materialise but captain Adam Gilchrist still patted his teammates on Thursday night, saying they proved their detractors wrong by reaching the semifinal of the Indian Premier League.
The defending champions looked out of the semifinal race after five defeats on the trot but Gilchrist and his men scripted an amazing turnaround to reach the semifinal where Chennai Super Kings thumped them by 38 runs at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday night.
The defeat, however, could not dampen the mood of the Australian who said, "I'm extremely pleased with the boys. We have done very well to reach the semifinals after a lot of people did not think much of our chances."
Gilchrist said he was disappointed not to go beyond the semifinal but felt chasing a victory target of 143 was not easy on the pitch which slowed down as the match progressed.
"Obviously I'm disappointed for not having a shot at the final. But it's becoming difficult to chase on these wickets which have become a bit tired and also slowed down though not many matches have been played here," said Gilchrist.
Gilchrist said the team would now lift itself up for Saturday's third place playoff match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue on Saturday, which will decide which team would make it to Septembers Champions T20 League.
"We would pick ourselves up for Saturday's match. We want to play in the Champions League again. We enjoyed playing in it last year," the Australian said.
Gilchrist said the team's strategy was to start slowly, keep wickets in hand and then finish the job but it did not happen. He also praised the bowling of rival off spinner R Ashwin who operated with the new ball and finished with one for 14.
"Ashwin has been bowling beautifully throughout the tournament with the new ball. It was risky going after him. We thought we could keep wickets in hand by starting cautiously. In hindsight we could have been a bit more aggressive initially," he said.
He also defended the inclusion of Herschelle Gibbs for Mitchell Marsh.
"We got Herschelle back into the team for Mitchell Marsh. It was one of the balancing acts as we did not need Mitchell's bowling component," he explained.