My anxiety levels have increased in the past 24 hours. As IPL champions, we do not want to go back empty-handed. Each of us is feeling the need to put points on the board to avoid the embarrassment of going back for a "duck".
From the tournament point of view, this may be an inconsequential game but there are different reasons for us to do well. Cricket is a team game but individual pressures creep in from time to time. Being a widely followed game, nothing short of a hundred or a five-wicket haul satiates supporters.
Hoping to do well
The heat is on me as a new home season beckons. I realise that my performances - or lack of them - are making headlines and are an integral part of analysis back home. I respect all of that and want to turn things around.
Trust me, every cricketer worth his salt wants to get a hundred or take all 10 wickets. But there are days or phases where nothing works.
It's like a sales guy making the best presentation, understanding exactly what the client wants, but still not being able to close the deal. He comes back to the drawing board, tries to decipher what went wrong. The introspection is done from different angles and opinions are sought from people. If failures persist, panic sets in and there is a tendency to over-react.
I know how that sales guy feels. The fact is that I am hitting the ball well, moving into my strokes but it is a matter of staying on the pitch and giving myself every chance to score big. In our last game, my approach again will be to give myself time. Let me see if it works.
On Saturday, Natasha and I were out again in the Cape Town malls, contributing to South Africa's GDP. I am not a great shopper, Natasha is. I used to be more of a grey, black and brown man when it came to tops and different shades of blue with jeans. Things are brighter these days. Guess, that's what marriage has done to me.
But unlike my illustrious teammate Sunil Narine, I am still an anti-pink guy. I have been proposed different shades of pink for shirts. I have politely turned them down. As for Sunil, he just loves pink - from his phone accessories to T-shirts.
FYI: I am told Sunil's girlfriend's favourite colour is blue (I hope I haven't mixed up this information!).
We all know that the authorities are experimenting with the pink ball for day-night Test matches. They haven't been able to decide on which shade of pink to go with. Maybe, Sunil can help.
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The writer is the captain of KKR and India's opening batsman