It’s fair to say that we are all looking at the points table. There is nothing wrong in it as long as you forget about it the moment you look away. Nine times out of ten, it is a mistake to look too far ahead in sport. Long-term planning is fine, but is generally best left to the right people while the players concentrate on taking the next step.
There is no doubt that we'd rather be in second place than be where the Warriors find themselves. On the one hand, we are able to ‘relax’ a little because we know we are well placed to challenge for a play-off place. The trouble with relaxing, however, is that it can make you vulnerable.
Pune are probably beginning to feel that every game from now on is a must-win and that makes them very dangerous. Ever since I praised Paddy Upton for making such a good start as the Warriors’ coach, they seem to have lost three or four close games in a row!
For millions of fans, of course, today’s game is all about the return of ‘Dada’ to Kolkata. The Knight Riders are aware of how much emotion there will be in the stadium and, as long as that emotion doesn’t spill over, it should be a memorable occasion.
Sourav has shown some signs of his old brilliance and I can imagine how much he would like to perform at one of the greatest stadiums on earth.
Emotion can be a positive driving force in sport, of course, provided players are able to focus and channelise the extra energy and adrenalin it produces rather than allow it to distract them.
Consistent success in T20 cricket comes to those who are best able to see clearly what is needed in a pressure situation, and then concentrate on achieving it. Extra adrenalin might make you hit the ball further or bowl it a bit faster, but it's unlikely to change the course of a match.
The writer plays for Knight Riders