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'We must enjoy this challenge'

cricket Updated: May 27, 2008 02:25 IST
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Hindustan Times
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Two losses in two games and we are now facing a must-win situation on Tuesday against Hyderabad. The defeat against Bangalore was due to inept batting, while the defeat against Rajasthan was because we gave away far too many runs, especially at the top of the innings. The only consolation was that we batted extremely well to chase 211, and while we did fall short, we at least made a game of it.

That was not the only disappointment for us on Saturday, because the other game also had a result that does not help us. Though I only watched the start of the Mumbai innings, we were aware of what was going on and that Delhi's win does put us in a must-win situation. However, I would like to get into the semifinals on our own strength and not on the basis of another team's performance. On Saturday, our bowlers were guilty of bowling on both sides of the wicket, and in T20 cricket, it's difficult to defend both sides of the field. We also bowled quite a few boundary balls, which the in-form Bangalore took full advantage of.

When the tournament began, everybody was talking of the 'star' teams, but I knew that Rajasthan would do well. They have utility players, and everybody does his little bit with the bat and ball. What's more, many of their guys are in good form, and they also have good bench strength. While I did not get a chance to speak to too many of them, they look like a team that is on a winning streak, happy and gelling well together.

We too need to exude similar confidence when we face Hyderabad and it's important that we enjoy the challenge of a must-win situation. I am not one to complicate things too much, and since Sunday was a break for us, I watched 'Iron Man' and have come back suitably refreshed.

Hopefully, the weather in Hyderabad will be a little less punishing than it is in Chennai right now. My finger is not in a very good shape after the knock in Kolkata last Sunday. Parthiv Patel will be keeping wickets, as I would not like to aggravate the injury before a hectic cricket season. Hyderabad's openers are in very good form and we need an early breakthrough to peg them back.

We need a good bowling performance that was lacking in the last game. We batted badly against Bangalore and bowled badly against Rajasthan. I hope that we will get both aspects right this time, and enter the semifinals on our own steam. It will be some time before we get back to Chennai, whichever way the game goes on Tuesday. It's been a wonderful stay, and I will miss the motorcycle rides to the stadium and down Beach Road and EC Road. I look forward to the stay here next year.

(Gameplan)

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