We need to start winning matches to think of making the semifinals. There's no question of that. Why are we losing? Well, we should have bowled better towards the end of the last game but it's very difficult in this format to point fingers at one part or one area.
<b1>One thing that's not helped us is that the Bangalore wicket has not been a flat batting wicket, so it's been tough for the batsmen to get into form. Still, Ross Taylor and Wasim came good in the last game.
But it's still a simple game and there's no point complicating matters — you just need to be a lot more flexible than you are even in one-dayers, but other than that you should just bowl like you do in the slog overs. Bowl yorkers, keep the ball in the right spots, keep the batsmen guessing…
Now for what happened last week. I did speak to Bhajji after the incident and he's both remorseful and apologetic and agreed that it shouldn't have happened, no matter what the provocation.
But moving forward, it's important that given the immense pressure and the media attention, that players realise what they can do and what they can't. Education is essential here and should be made part of the system.
There's so much money in the game now, especially with the IPL. Instead of people blaming whatever happens on 'too much money', or justifying incidents by saying things happen in the heat of the moment, it's important someone ensures that players are given the right kind of advice, that there are professionals around to help them cope with fame and handle the money it brings. At no cost should the game be disrespected nor the people who are part of it. Cricket is above everything else.
Players need to learn to respect the opposition and most importantly, to gain the respect of everyone. It's very important to understand what you should not say instead of what you would naturally say.
At the same time, just because you're a cricketer, it doesn't mean you hold back constantly and suppress your normal character. But because people watch, learn, imitate you, it’s vital to find a balance. Which is why perhaps, we need to be educated on how to handle success and failure…
Coming back to what happened — physical abuse is definitely not part of any sport. It's a definite no-no. But equally, it's important for Indian cricket that both these guys get back on track. In terms of talent, in terms of what they've achieved as cricketers, they're a vital part of the team.
Especially Harbhajan, who has a proven track record as a match-winner — it's very important for the Indian team that he comes back and performs.
On a final, personal note, it was probably a bit early for me to play but we were short a bowler, so I did. But it all happens so quickly. I hope to be completely ready for the game after Wednesday's though. It's very important for us to start winning. With the team we have, the Royal Challengers definitely want to be part of the knockout round.
The good part is that come May, many foreign players from other teams will be missing. Kolkata will miss Ponting and McCullum.
Chennai will definitely miss Hayden and Hussey. Lee will be missed by Mohali and Symonds by Hyderabad.
Except for Ross, who's been key though, we'll be fine. A good win tomorrow will set us up. It's a pretty long tournament, we can always come back. But it has to start now.