I am writing this column with two massive distractions. On one side there is the marauding David Warner decimating the RCB bowlers. On the other is my little one, Aazeen, spinning around the room, just refusing to sleep. God knows where these pocket-sized beings get their energy from.
Let’s try and solve Warner first. I think he picks the length early and then with great bat speed packs a punch. He runs aggressively and also has a great sense of the occasion which is a common thread in all the big-match players.
I’ll be meeting another big match player on Wednesday – Rohit Sharma. He is a class act and someone I have always felt will be one of the top batsmen for India in future. I will be disappointed if he doesn’t score more than 10,000 Test runs and a lot more in ODIs.
My team has suffered in his hands last year. He scored 90-odd runs and I can tell you they were all draped in the grace to match the poise of a trapeze artist. I am not a big fan of statistics but they suggest that Rohit has special love for the Eden. I hope we can throw a spanner in the works today. I hope our plans against him work. Otherwise, I will be one silent admirer of the “Rohit Exhibition”.
The way Robin Uthappa batted in the first game against Delhi Daredevils, I think it could be a Robin show as well. He looked at the top of his prowess on Sunday. You could have drawn tram lines with his straight-drives. I hope Robin can present his A-game today as the opposition is loaded with variety in their bowling attack and the loss in the first game to Pune must have left them wounded too.
This game can also be a test of young middle-order batsmen. We have always given licence to the likes of Manish Pandey and Surya Kumar Yadav but it seems we will be playing on a pitch which would require a more rational approach.
Bowling-wise we’ve always been well-served. There are Morne Morkel, Andre Russell and John Hastings to go with the Indian seamers Umesh Yadav and Jaidev Unadkat. I believe whatever the format, it is the bowlers who win you a game. My point was further underlined in the last match.
I was asked what do I like about our ‘young’ spinner Brad Hogg. Frankly, I struggle to pick him in the nets. It gives me immense confidence thinking about the plight of the opposition batsmen. What I like about Hoggy? I think his tongue-faced celebrations are right at the top. Even at the age of 45 he celebrates like a debutant.
I’d be careful to say anything about my own form. Post some changes to my technique last year I am hitting the ball well, especially the short stuff. Till the time I ride on the flair of my batting I will try to fight it out. I am confident I can win but I am not sure if I can convince little Aazeen to go to bed even at 11pm. Let me try that once more...
(The writer is KKR skipper. Views expressed by the author are personal.)