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Final over was not cause of defeat

Defending 21 is like defending 12 ten years ago, that's how much things have changed, writes Jacques Kallis.

india Updated: May 25, 2011 02:01 IST

What a twist of fate that sees the same four teams which contested the last two league games line up again in the first round of the knockout matches.

Of course, it's not actually a knockout match for Bangalore and Chennai because the loser gets a second chance to make the final if they can beat the winner of our repeat match against the Mumbai Indians.

If we had won on Sunday, it would have been a Knight Riders/Royal Challengers top-two finish and an 'easier' path to the final (not that there is an 'easy' game in this tournament).

Changing times
Defending 21 off the final over is not what it used to be! At the beginning of my international career, it wouldn't even have raised the heart-rate - no batting side was expected to have a chance with 21 needed off six balls.

But things have changed and we won't be the last team to lose in such circumstances. Defending 21 is like defending 12 ten years ago, that's how much things have changed.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/25_05_11_pg22c.jpg

Larger picture
Anyway, it is a mistake just to look at the final over for the causes of victory and defeat. If we had done a few things differently earlier in the innings, perhaps scored a few more runs and made fewer mistakes in the field, the match would have been won well before that final over.

We'll just have to make certain that we don't make similar mistakes on Wednesday - at least we don't have any doubts about our ability to beat Mumbai after Sunday's game. We weren't ruthless enough at the death and proved one of the sport's oldest proverbs: the game is never over until it's over.

Happy with tag
If we can get past Mumbai, then it's on to facing Bangalore or Chennai for a place in the final. It's a hard task but in many ways we are the underdogs with all three teams having finished above us on the final league table.

I expect the experts to be predicting our downfall, which is fine by all of us.

Finally, I want to say a massive 'Thank You' to the Kolkata crowd, not just for filling the Eden Gardens on Sunday but for the support throughout the tournament. Sorry, we couldn't finish the home season with a win but, what a night anyway!

Hawkeye