Nothing seems to be working for the Pune Warriors at the moment. We are trying our best to get back to form but things are not going our way. Our last game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore was another example of how we have failed to click as a unit. Before this game, it was our batting which wasn't performing, this time both the bowling and batting weren't up to the mark.
If you are bowling to someone like Chris Gayle, you can't stray from line and length. He possesses exceptional ability to convert good balls into boundaries, and I think we’ve given him far too many balls in his area. It resulted in a massacre. He’s brutal and at that time his mindset was to destroy anything which came in the swing of his bat.
Virat an asset
He gave the Royal Challengers a dream start and their strong batting line up made the most of it. Virat Kohli is one of the most exciting talents to emerge recently and his class was again on display. Apart from his technique and temperament, what I like about him is his ability to change gears according to the need of the team. After giving far too many runs with new ball, our bowlers were under pressure to pull back things. All credit goes to Rahul Sharma and Alfonso Thomas, who bowled their hearts out to restrict the total below 200.
While chasing nine-an-over, you are under pressure from the first ball. Two dot balls and the run rate goes into double digits.
While chasing 181, we scored 63 in the first half of the innings. That meant in the second half we needed 12 runs per over. On hindsight, one can argue that either Robin Uthappa or I could have come early and accelerated. But I have full faith in Manish Pandey’s ability and it’s one of those days when things didn't work for him. Number four and five are the mainstay of our batting and that’s why Robin and I are batting at that number.
All in all, it wasn't our day and the better team won. We may not like it but the fact is we are slipping into a position where every game will be do-or-die for us.
Onus is on us
Still, disappointment shouldn't take over our focus. As a team, we can't think too far and have to take one game at a time. As professionals, we have seen these situations before as well. More importantly, this group has the ability and belief to turn things around. Our next stop is Jaipur, and the Rajasthan Royals are fresh from a victory over the mighty Mumbai Indians. The onus is on us to break the home fort of the Royals. PMG