To say that we were disappointed at the end of the third ODI would be understating how we felt. But these are early days and I have no doubt that we will fight back. This is the best part of a seven-match series.
The Kotla wicket was tough to bat on with the ball keeping low and getting slower. Every now and then it turned sharply too, making it a challenge to score. We needed another 15-20 runs though to have made things difficult for the Indians.
But the pitch played as we expected it to; there were no real surprises or shocks. I’m aware there has been some talk that the ICC wants batting friendly pitches for ODIs, but I don’t know about that in the sense that it’s always good to have different challenges in different conditions. Yes, there should be a minimum standard but I would like to see different surfaces and conditions in each part of the world.
It was disappointing that we didn’t get to practice on the day before the match but that had no bearing on the result. The outfield though was fast and with a couple of the boundaries being short, we should have got more runs on the board.
As for my knock, it was hard work out there and I enjoyed the challenge. To get a good score on such a track while getting the team to a competitive total is a great feeling but at the end of the match, when you end up on the losing side, you do feel disappointed.
The one thing we couldn’t do much about was the dew that came down hard. These were probably the wettest conditions I have played in. It was certainly tough for the bowlers, though I didn’t find it too hard while fielding in the outfield.
The next game is in Mohali. I have played there before and know that the dew can play a role there as well.
The Mohali crowd will miss Brett Lee though, who plays for the local team in the IPL. It is amazing how we have been hit by so many injuries at the same time. But each injury has come about due to different reasons and they have to be treated differently. The injuries have forced us to test our bench strength and that is never a bad thing.