In the fields of cricket, a bit of nous goes a long way. And Praveen Kumar has that in abundance. He's street-smart, aggressive in his approach. He's got the ability to vary and change his pace almost at will.
Praveen's also been good for us in the last two editions. On Thursday, there was a bit of a breeze in the ground and that would have helped in swinging the ball a lot more, but all credit to the way he bowled, making optimum use of the conditions and a bit of luck. The interesting part about T20 cricket is the number of hattricks there have been — an otherwise uncommon phenomenon.
There have been seven hattricks so far, at least four by non-regular bowlers, which is quite a few in a relatively short time-span (despite the clutter of games). That's also because, in this form of the game, every ball is an event. As a batsman, you can't really block the ball, so you have to swing the bat. There's pressure on the batsmen to score runs in any case, but more so on Indian wickets, that tend to be flat and more batsman friendly. Here, a run and a half to two per delivery is the minimum, as a score of below 160-180 is dicey to defend.
Having said that, you still need to bowl in good areas and get lucky and Praveen did just that. He bowled really well —the hat-trick ball in particular, was very good and yes, he had some luck, but that's always the case — you often make your own luck as a bowler.
It's great that RCB get to join the list of teams with a hattrick under their belt this season —it also makes for one more thing to celebrate, just like our win, which in the end, was quite easy.
But a win is a win and we're feeling good about ourselves ahead of the all-important away game against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday. We've won two out of two at home and they're riding on some good times, so it should be an even battle. Why it's important for us is because we need an away win before coming back home to play two more and carry on the momentum. The key to allt hat would be Sachin. And getting him could make all the difference to us.