Our game against RCB over, we are about to undertake one of the more extensive travels this season. We are to play Gujarat Lions on Thursday in Kanpur. To reach there, we are taking a flight from Kolkata to Patna, from there another flight to Lucknow and then to Kanpur by road.
Personally, I don’t mind long journeys, as it is fun to be with the boys. After an indifferent result on Monday, travelling together is a better idea than being confined to the hotel rooms. At least being together means we have each other’s company rather than relying on DVD players, play stations, books or a lazy bed.
The downside of this travel is that it will be tough for me to face the team and coaches again. Somehow, I am struggling to get the Virat Kohli dropped catch out of my system. The team won’t make me feel like a villain but I don’t know how to move on. It was easily the turning point of the match. Virat’s dismissal at that stage would have created an opportunity. Moments like these are akin to a wardrobe malfunction on an international red carpet. A simple and controllable thing but goes bust in front of the world.
I remember I was concentrating fiercely throughout our bowling stint. I saw the ball coming to me and it landed right into the pouch but somehow it spilled out. Such a big game, full house at Eden Gardens, top batsman of the opposition offers a chance and I drop the catch. As a cricketer, you get nightmares of these situations but then you go back to sleep telling yourself that it was only a bad dream. Guess what? I am living that nightmare since Monday night. Like all good players, Virat made us pay big time for the miss.
It was a game where we were not up to the mark with our bowling. The score of 183 may not have looked invincible but we could have challenged RCB a bit more. We consistently missed our length and our plans too. There was plenty of short stuff on show and we lacked those subtle variations that catch batsman off guard. I am not too perturbed as there is enough class in our dressing room. I am not going to analyse the pitch or what it meant for us as I think a champion team should be able to win in all conditions.
I don’t know about the TRPs or general acceptance for IPL this year, but I think it is unfolding to be one of the more interesting seasons. There are five teams vying for the remaining three spots in the playoffs. It underlines how well matched the teams are and the quality of cricket on show in this marquee league.
It is now a matter of one last push by all the teams to cross over. Delhi Daredevils, RCB, Mumbai, Gujarat and KKR are all in the same boat. The next 4-5 days will be high pressure for all of us. It will be about who handles it the best. One thing though, I am ruthless when it comes to crushing the opposition and having single-minded focus on winning. Despite that, I will wish that no one drops a sitter the way I did on Monday.
Dinesh Chopra Media
The writer is KKR captain