It may not have been a comprehensive victory, but our dramatic last-over win against the Deccan Chargers was no less sweet. We made plenty of mistakes, especially with the bat, but we can be proud of the fighting spirit we displayed.
It was a win that brought us close to a place in the semifinals. However, we are not home yet. In fact, far from it! Besides some very good fortune, we need to beat the Chennai Super Kings and that will require some extremely good cricket.
We do need to bat better. When you are missing guys like Mahela Jayawardene in the middle-order, it is crucial that the top order takes on greater responsibility. We cannot expect to beat Chennai unless we improve our batting.
It was another sterling performance by Irfan Pathan on Sunday. The manner in which he held himself together in the final over, refusing to give up despite Rohit Sharma’s thunderous hitting, showed great mental strength.
But Irfan was not the only hero. I thought Ramesh Powar was fantastic. His two-wicket over, where he got Adam Gilchrist too, opened the door for us at a time when Deccan appeared to be cruising. It filled us with self-belief, and dented Deccan’s confidence. It was a crucial turning point.
Then, of course, there was Yuvi’s second hat-trick of the tournament. We all admire Yuvraj for his effortless clean hitting, but his bowling is very useful too. In this IPL, his left-arm spin has been a crucial part of our attack.
I feel that the win, like the previous one against Delhi, will help us grow stronger. We are becoming used to pressure games and we expect to pull through in the tighter games.