A charming aspect of the IPL and CLT20 is that it puts players from different countries in odd situations. The other day in Johannesburg, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor, teammates at the Daredevils, sat together for a quiet meal. But in a week, they will be on opposing sides as New Zealand
travel to Sri Lanka.
For the Daredevils, the washout at Centurion was disappointing and with the forecast not being bright at Durban, there is apprehension ahead of the semifinal. But they are up for the challenge of the knockouts.
Coach Eric Simons reminds players to focus on strengths, live in the moment and not get distracted by the opposition. Young Unmukt Chand put this into practice, working out in the gym with an intensity that only the seriously committed possess.
Conscious of the need to stay in peak physical condition, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar and Umesh Yadav are putting in the hard yards in the nets and gym. But all of them are also aware that, ultimately, fate plays a crucial role.
Fate, in the form of rain, could be a decisive factor in Durban. The Daredevils, a powerhouse team with all-round muscle, would be hoping they get a game that allows their talent to express itself.
The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official.