I think I was completely exhausted last night. I’m not sure why I cramped up. Perhaps it was because I was playing after a long time, but more likely, it was because of the sheer pressure — of the situation and the captaincy.
Looking ahead at the next 13 games, I can tell you one thing. I absolutely enjoyed captaincy but it is also the most exhausting, physically and mentally enervating place to be, especially in this form of the game.
If anyone tells you otherwise, I’d suggest you don’t believe them — it’s impossible not to stress! As captain of a T20 team, you’ve got to be constantly on the button, continuously innovate, think two or three overs ahead. That state of being on a non-stop adrenaline high, of not being able to take it easy even for one ball, takes its toll on your body — it’s exhilarating but it’s not easy.
Then there was the fact that we were chasing an iffy total. The 140-150 totals are the dangerous ones; you’re never sure how to tackle them. If you get off to a flier, you’ll win in quick time. If you lose early wickets, like we did after Sreesanth’s opening spell, then you’re stuck in the middle, unless one top order guy stays till the end.
On Saturday, I knew that guy had to be me. I knew that if I stayed till the end, we would win, but full credit to Mithun for finishing the job for us. That’s also why I think experience matters. Mithun’s played 10 years of domestic cricket, handled every kind of situation, stood up under every kind of pressure, so he was able to take this too. In that regard, we were lucky.
On another note, we’ve spent the eve of our game with the Rajasthan Royals in planes and airports. We left Chandigarh at noon and got here to Ahmedabad only at 6:30pm, as we needed to go through Mumbai. The hectic pace of travel takes a lot out of the players, but that’s life in this particular fast lane.
Still, we’re going to be as aggressive as we can against the Royals on Monday — and trust me, we can be pretty aggressive. They’ve lost one, we’ve won one — we’re going to throw everything we can at them. And we’re looking forward to that.