It was a refreshing break for us after being on the road since the start of the tournament. It was a break which will help the boys, physically and mentally, before we launch ourselves for the business-end of the tournament.
At times, introspection helps to decide what you did
right and what you need to do from here on. The message for Pune is simple - we need to go out and win more and more games.
This is the leg which will decide the last four qualifiers because till now, except for Delhi, no team is surging ahead strongly. On the other hand, a few of the favoured teams have lost matches to lesser-fancied sides and that's why the tournament is wide open.
More the competition, more the calculations. Chennai losing to the Kings, Delhi scraping through against Rajasthan, Kolkata getting past Bangalore with ease are some of the highlights of these few days, and the nature of these results have shown that the teams are still looking for balance and fluidity.
In this period, a few teams will get to re-build. Delhi lose Kevin Pietersen but David Warner joins them; Rajasthan are reinforced by the joining of Shane Watson; Mike Hussey comes into Chennai and Pune are joined by Aussie captain Michael Clarke.
The rest have had a taste of IPL, but it will be a first time for Michael and I wish him all the luck. We will need to find out how quickly he can get into action.
We lost our last match against the Deccan Chargers at home and I believe the boys will be geared up to set the record straight at the Chargers' home in Cuttack.
Pune will get into this game with a make-or-break mindset and we will be keen to set the record straight for the future of the tournament.
The wicket at Cuttack will probably be on the slower side, as I have been following a few games there, and selecting a balanced XI will be crucial.
Though we were on leave for some days, we were in touch with each other. Pune would want to come out with the intensity we showed since the start of the tournament, and not look back for the remaining bit of the group league.
(360 Corporate Relations. The writer is the Pune Warriors India skipper.)