'We're going to take that full confidence into Sunday night' - Chris Lynn

Gulf Giants will lock horns with Desert Vipers on February 12 with eyes set on inaugural ILT20 title

By Press Release

Updated - Feb 11, 2023, 19:17 IST

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9 Min Read

There have been some intense battles in the ILT20 tournament. Interestingly enough, Gulf Giants have a had roller coaster ride so far, after they lost their first match of the playoffs round and then bounced back by beating MI Emirates to seal their berth for the summit clash with Desert Vipers.

Meanwhile, Chris Lynn of the Gulf Giants, shared some insights about the mood and set up of the team. Here are the excerpts from his interview:

Q. Congratulations, Chris, on qualifying for the finals of the first edition of DP World ILT20. Brilliant, knock again, you guys look confident, with a little jitter from the first match, but everything's fine now for the final, so how does it feel and what's the strategy going to be out there? You guys played some really attacking cricket right from the beginning and must have been disappointed not to end the match a little earlier.

Lynn: Thank you first and foremost. I think it's all part of the script. Look, we didn't play as well as you said; we didn't play our best cricket against the Vipers in the first semi-final, but there's a method to our madness; we needed to work out a couple of kinks, and we did that tonight. I still believe we didn't. We're still at 10% off with the ball in the field and with the bat, as you said, and we could have finished a lot earlier with a little bit more polished performance. But as I said, it's all part of the script, and we're saving it for the finale on Sunday night, but we can take a lot from tonight. We've got a couple of big game players in our lineup who are comfortable, playing finals cricket, and we're going to take that full confidence into Sunday night. 

 Q. After this comprehensive win, do you think you're now the favourites to clinch this trophy?

Lynn: I don't want the favourites tag, that's for sure. No, I think the team that gets it first definitely deserves to be a favourite. The Vipers have probably been the dominant team throughout the competition. We had a couple of rainout games, so that's probably a little bit of the reason why we finish first, but look at their quality outfit. They've got pace, they've got quality spin, and they've got a strong batting line-up. As a result, we'll have to match them, player for player. James Vince is on fire. Alex Hales is on fire. So, it's going to be a great matchup, and in this case, Ahmed has only played a couple of games against Hasaranga. So, from a player's point of view, we just have to try and slow everything down. We know the boys are going to get excited. The local boys haven't played in front of a big crowd like this before. So, for us, it's all about taking a deep breath, taking a step back, and soaking it all up. trying to use our experience. We've got a lot of players in our lineup who have played a lot of cricket. So, we have to try to share that as a group, and the young fellas can ride the wave of our confidence. And then back to someone like James Vince; you saw tonight how fantastic he was; and someone like Chris Jordan, whose influence is so crucial in big games. I can't hide the fact they didn't win tonight, but you could see his game management; he tried to slow the game. I believe they had three timeouts tonight, things like that, their game management, slowing the game down when necessary and speeding it up when necessary. So, we've got to take our cricket IQ as such to the next level to try and beat this Vipers out.

Q. Just a word on the league that you're playing in and what sort of difference there is? Or does playing in leagues like this make a difference, especially for players who get a platform to show their potential, which maybe they do not get otherwise?

Lynn: Yeah, I think I've played in a lot of leagues around the world and there are some difficulties, some issues, some teething issues in the first-year league, but I found this to be really, really smooth. I can't speak for the Adani Sports Line Group; I can only speak for our franchise, and they've been absolutely phenomenal. We've got, a great coaching staff, our support staff, the behind-the-scenes crew, the social media team, they've been outstanding, so I've got to congratulate them, and that's probably a big part of our success as well. They love keeping the players happy. Keep players happy off the field, and the field will take care of itself, as I've always said. And a big one for me is growing the game of cricket; we haven't had huge crowds here. But as the tournaments go on, we've seen it build and build and build, and hopefully we get a big crowd in on Sunday night. Not only is the crowd growing, but the game is being played by local players in the UAE, such as Sanchit and Gleeson, and these guys are just having so much fun around the group, which is really rewarding for someone like myself. 

Q I just wanted to ask you, if you had any happy memories from the last time, you played Desert Vipers; you hit 71 runs with Hetmyer. So, did that give you a certain kind of confidence going into this big game knowing that you guys have played them really well? In the tournament specifically, you are talking about the matchups as well. But was that giving you any kind of confidence?

Lynn: Yeah, it's currently sitting at one. We've had two wins again. Sunday's victory came in the final game. So, we've actually got a point to prove. It's all well and good to beat him in the round-robin games without beating us in the semi-finals. So, we've got to come back. It's our turn to throw the next punch as such, but, as I said, we know they're a quality team. We've just got to control the controllables we do, and then we'll go a long way towards winning the game. There's T20 cricket, it's short, but it's an absolute roller coaster. We were bowling really well. We dropped a couple of catches, I murmured, "I got momentum," and then we got momentum with the bat. They get a couple of wickets. So, we just hold our nerve and like saying the team that panics last will go a long way towards winning the game.

 Q. Chris. Can I just ask you a little bit about James Vince? He looks so unflappable all the time. From now on, there will be sporadic movement. They're obviously taking some up-close advice from senior players. But I mean, is it really like that? Is it calm all the time, or is it internalized?

Lynn: I can't even get him to have a beer with me. No, but one of the most important aspects of Vinci is how well the Gulf Giants are planned. So, you don't have to wave your arms around. We'll get flustered when you're out in the field but because we plan so well. Stick to the plan, Stick to a plan that is not working; go to plan B. You've got to have plans. Otherwise, you'll notice a flutter. James Vince or all of the bowlers deserve credit, but Andy Flower and his team deserve credit for preparing the guys as best they could to give us access and information. And that's what transfers onto the field and that's why we're so calm. It's all about thinking now because you've already planned to finish everything about execution. When you're back with him, he makes it look so simple. But there are some days where you can't hit the ball. He said the other night that he felt like he hadn't batted in 10 years and he was going to run a 20. But the beauty of that is that he doesn't let anyone else know about it. Everyone has good and bad days off the field. But he doesn't take that onto the field, which is great to see and as you mentioned, he doesn't get flustered at all. So, it's a great sign of a good captain and another thing is that he's a big-game player. I've had to keep an eye on him over the last few years and his scores in the semi-finals and finals have been, big numbers. So that's going to give him great confidence going into Sunday night.

 Q Chris, you lost on the eighth because they give you guys a lot of extra motivation going in on Sunday. And is the pressure on the Vipers because they won?

Lynn: They got to the finals, they had a couple of days off, they took the easy way out. Our guy’s love playing cricket. So, we don't mind doing it the hard way. And it's even sweeter if you do get over the line. As I mentioned before, we had a few little creeks in our batting and bowling, but you actually have to lose the game to learn from that. But when it comes to quality lineups, I wouldn't pick one team over the other. But it's all about your match awareness. We don't know what wicket we're playing on at the moment. So, let's just use our cricket IQ. If we can get home early, please let me know if they get Vince early. You never know; as I said, it's going to be a roller coaster. So yeah, hopefully all of Dubai can tune in. I know the numbers in the broadcast were good. But come Sunday night, it’s going to be exceptional, but it's so much fun. I've absolutely loved the last couple of weeks. I missed the first couple of games. But the roller coaster that it's been throughout the tournament I mean, we had to wash shirts in Dubai; who would have thought we were having to wash shirts in Dubai? But for us, it was great that players could freshen up midway through the tournament, and I think we're seeing the rewards now, so yeah.

 Q. Hi, Chris. So, Rashid Khan played very well today. Did you guys had a specific plan to tackle him in the middle today?

Lynn: Yeah, we found him very similar to us having Hasaranga, which we played with a straight bat. We found the sweet spot for us all against Rashid Khan. I'm just looking at a bit of footage, and that's where we talked about preparing well and utilising our strengths, but also having the discipline to back up your strengths. We saw Colin Grandhomme hit a fantastic six over wide midwicket for a six, and he was telling himself to do it again but then he just wanted to get through, overcome and stick with that nice run from rush, but it's all about discipline and sticking to your plan. It's all well and good to plan, but if you go away for one ball or two balls, then what's the point of planning because that actually hurts more when you get out? So, we've found a method that worked tonight, but the wicket might be a little bit different. It may and spin come Sunday, so we'll have to plan well again, and the best players adapt out in the middle, as we discovered. Andy Flower before the game, I asked him, "What's the par score this week?" And he said, "Mate, I don't know because you might get off to a flyer then or you might get off to a stinker and lose a couple of weeks." So, you've got to adapt on the fly and the best players in the world do that and hopefully, you're the man of the match and can be in our changing room on Sunday.

 The DP World ILT20 made its debut at the Dubai International Stadium on 13 January 2023. Some of the greatest cricketing superstars have made their way to the UAE to play in the inaugural edition of the league. The tournament is currently being played in a 34-match format across the UAE’s exemplary, world-class cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Franchise teams, comprising over 100 International and 24 UAE-based players, include Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (Knight Riders Group), Desert Vipers (Lancer Capital), Dubai Capitals (GMR), Gulf Giants (Adani Sportsline), MI Emirates (Reliance Industries), and Sharjah Warriors (Capri Global).   

Cricket fans across the world can catch the LIVE telecast of this exciting cricket league on ZEE's linear channels, digital platform, Zee5 as well as Zee Cinema SD, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Anmol Cinema, &Pictures HD, &Flix SD, &Flix HD, Zee Zest SD, Zee Zest HD, Zee Bangla Cinema, Zee Thirai, and on CricLife across the UAE and MENA regions. 

Gulf Giants will play the Finals with Dessert Vipers Sunday, February 12 at 7:30 PM IST LIVE exclusively ONLY on ZEE’s linear channels such as Zee Cinema SD, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Anmol Cinema, &Pictures HD, &Flix SD, &Flix HD, Zee Zest SD, Zee Zest HD, Zee Bangla Cinema, Zee Thirai and digital platform, Zee5.

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