We are at the half-way mark and it’s the first time in the competition’s five-year history that I’ve noticed teams doing exceptionally well at home. We've just played the first of six consecutive games on the road, and unfortunately it didn’t go well for us against Mumbai, who like us, have also been invincible at home so far. Today, we face the Rajasthan Royals, another undefeated side at home, who have also not managed to pull off an away win yet.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is behind this sudden case of team's proving to be hard to beat on their home turf. In football, we know how much the home and away factor is played up, especially in the UEFA Champions League, where an away goal, as they say, counts for double. But talking cricket, it’s logical that when you're at home, you are more accustomed to the conditions, especially if you play two or three games in a row before you travel.
No breathing space
On the road, it’s quite different. The nature of the schedule is such that you normally find yourself reaching the venue of an away fixture barely 24 hours before the game.
For example, I’m writing this ahead of our flight to Jaipur, which should give you an idea of what it's like not just for RCB but any team. So clearly, you don't have much time to settle, which means you have to train yourself to make a quick mental adjustment.
I don’t believe the wicket offers any more aid to the home team than it does to the visiting side. The wickets we have played on have been similar to the ones we played on last year and we won quite a few games away from home last season. It’s a case of how well and fast you adapt and we know we are a side capable of doing that. We’ve come within a whisker in two of our away games and hopefully against Rajasthan, we can go on to get that elusive first away win this season.
While you are always going to have to negotiate a partisan crowd, I have to say that the fans who booed Virat in Mumbai went too far. He has done so much for his country and their behaviour towards him was unnecessary.
I totally understand getting behind your own team but it's important to support your own people too. I know this is a common occurrence in football culture, but I'm against this creeping into cricket. That said, we know it's going to keep happening as we move forward and we've got to be strong minded about it. PMG
The writer is RCB opener