It is heartening to see my team on top of the points table. While it is good to get back to winning ways, we are aware that the tournament has just reached the halfway stage and there is still a lot of work to be done. However, we are geared to keep the momentum going.
The best part of the last three games was the manner in which our bowlers amended themselves. We have been having a lot of meetings, discussing the opposition and its nice to see the bowlers interact in a positive way.
What a first ball Albie sent down to Gilchrist. It was a perfect example of planning and execution coming together. You can make plans but if the execution is not spot-on, you can end up looking ridiculous, but on Monday everything clicked.
Coming with a superb effort again was Shadab Jakati, who for the second successive game, turned out to be our trump card. People ask me how someone like Jakati, relatively unknown when it comes to a team with bowlers like Muralitharan, Balaji and Ntini, can shine, more so when he is up against proven international batsmen. It is simple. The first thing he is told is to bowl as if he were bowling for Goa in the Ranji Trophy. Next, there is no question of tinkering with his technique and line of thinking. Where we (coaching staff) come in is in making some minor adjustments, say in terms of telling him, as also the likes of Sudeep Tyagi, about how to set fields for different batsmen, their respective strengths and weaknesses, etc.
We will never talk to him about how he needs to bowl a magic ball to a great batsman. On the other hand, we emphasise that a ball in the right area, is right for any batsman. We also do a bit of visualisation at the nets, making him bowl as if in a match situation.
At this level, it is also about courage and both Tyagi and Jakati have showed plenty of it. Be it a Gilly or AB, Jakati has never hesitated to toss the ball up. That’s courage for you and the results have followed.
If there was a sore point, it was in the fielding. We dropped quite a few catches and if you are off the boil for an over or two, the game can get away.