After last year, when none of the Indian Premier League teams made the final four of the Champions League, it’s good to be at that stage. I know people will point to the fact that we went through on net run rate, but that’s become a deciding factor in any important tournament.
We were aware of the need to keep the NRR healthy at all times, and had even discussed it before the start of the tournament. That’s why, when we got into a good position against Guyana, we knew we had to make it count.
We lost a game against Mumbai, but even there I think we executed our bowling plans really well. In that game, things got away a bit at the death, though in the earlier games it was the initial bowling that was a worry. In Durban, the pitch and the conditions are a bit different, so the fast bowlers should relish bowling with the new ball early on.
The Chennai Super Kings are our next opponents and it’s good to be playing them because we know what they are about. We have played each other quite a bit, and there won’t be any major surprises in terms of personnel. They’re the IPL champions, but, we’ve had some strong games against them in the past.
The way the team has started to put it all together in the last few matches is heartening. Rahul Dravid and Manish Pandey set the base up in the last game and Virat Kolhli has continued to make the best of being in good form.
The two batsmen who haven’t fired in spectacular fashion are Ross Taylor and Robin Uthappa, and everyone knows the kind of impact they can have on a game. Both are due for a good score and now will be the right time from the team’s perspective.
To end on a good note, at least we can be sure an Indian team will be in the final of the Champions League. At the Royal Challengers Bangalore, we’re making sure we do all we can to ensure that we are that team.