At 41, Adam Gilchrist isn't getting any younger. If captaining an Indian Premier League franchise isn't tough enough, he has had to battle ageing reflexes while playing a mentoring role to young Indian players at Kings XI Punjab. He may not be at the height of his powers, but his experience and understanding of the game are worth their weight in gold. Wisden India caught up with Gilchrist to discuss the challenges of being a part of a franchise system, his role as a mentor, what's plaguing Australian cricket and more. Excerpts:
You announced last year that your playing career was over. What prompted a return?
I wasn't sure, to be honest. I thought I was ready to finish there but I went away and thought about it for quite some time. Also, I held some discussions with the franchise and they were keen on having me involved in the set-up in the final year of my contract. On reflection of the season I had last year where I missed a few games because of an injury, I thought it would be nice to come back and have one last go. Obviously my performances haven't been up to the mark this year and that has meant I've had to miss out on a few games, but it doesn't end there. There is a lot of involvement in terms of guiding and supporting the young players in the group. Hopefully if I play a few more games, the results will come my way. But looking back, the IPL experience has been wonderful. It has been a pleasure to be involved and given this opportunity to lead two franchises. I've really enjoyed playing and that is why I've kept coming back.