For all the smooth-talking and statements of intent by the formidable Shane Warne, it took a shrink to put things into perspective and give an insight into the team’s state of mind.
Asked whether the burden of being dubbed favourites will effect a change in the team’s mindset and bring with it its own pressure, Jeremy Snape, psychologist with the Jaipur team, said yes.
“Of course, there's a different pressure that comes with being out there as favourites,” Snape said.
"But cricket is a simple game, and we will try to not worry about the points, league table and other stuff. We are going to keep it simple," he added, on the eve of the game against Hyderabad.
Keeping it simple might however be harder done than said. With Warne declaring that Dimitri Mascarenhas, the only Englishman in the IPL, “is definitely coming into consideration”, the Jaipur think-tank faces a dilemma in which one of Shane Watson, Graeme Smith and Sohail Tanvir has to be left out. Some venture that Smith might make way for Mascarenhas, a choice that, if made, might be a little hard to swallow for Smith.
“Mascarenhas will definitely be considered. He is the best finisher in the world,” Warne said.
Warne admitted that his side was caught out by the intensity Mumbai displayed in their last game, and attributed it to a combination of inexperience and panic. “It was a little bit of inexperience, little bit of panic. We didn’t know what the ideal score was. Batting first, we went ‘whacking, whacking, whacking’ without knowing a par score,” he conceded.
However Warne said that his team had put the loss behind and is ready to plot the downfall of Hyderabad.