It’s a happy homecoming for Pune. I’m happy that the team could translate its effort into a win against a good side like Delhi. I still feel we should have had atleast one more win in our three away matches. It was really hard to travel across the South and then to the North for back-to-back matches. This is exactly what the youngsters who cherish to play for India should learn, to deliver under trying circumstances.
The most difficult part is the mental stress; travelling from one centre to another in a very short time does not help. Here, one has to take care of his body, lead a disciplined life and rest. Good rest helps the body and mind to recuperate faster. Cricket has become more taxing and the more disciplined life you lead, the more years you can play. The summer heat is becoming unbearable, add to that the task of travelling and playing every second day. It’s tough on the body but one can’t complain as that is the world of T20.
The foreign players deserve a special mention as they are not only adjusting to the weather and pitch conditions of this country but are also trying to adapt to the food while maintaining their playing tempo.
All of them have been great teammates and have been a part of all that is happening with the team. The problem is that only four foreigners can be played and when the team is trying to achieve the right balance you have at times no choice.
Injury has started raising its ugly head and that is bound to happen in such a hectic tournament. Ashok Dinda has been sidelined for some matches, and so has Lasith Malinga. Pune is lucky to have a fierce competitor in
Alfonso Thomas. Malinga’s absence will have to be thought out by Mumbai Indians as he is an important cog in their bowling.
I am enjoying the UEFA Champions League format in this IPL. You play a team back to back in a home-and-away format and that creates more interest among fans. In a tight tournament, as this is turning out to be, it helps you to calculate for the coming days too. We take on Delhi, and it’s the first day game in Pune, so we will need to find out how the pitch behaves.
Delhi will surely be looking to make amends. The boys are relaxed and ready and that is bound to happen when you come home after having added two important points to your kitty.
(The writer is the captain and mentor of Pune Warriors)
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