Two wrong calls in a row at the toss and two consecutive defeats. That is what comes to mind straightaway when one looks back and wonders why things are not clicking.
We desperately wanted to win the toss and bat first against Rajasthan after having a close look at the pitch just before the toss. I played at Motera only a few days back in the final of a domestic tournament. Nearly 800 runs were scored on that day, with both sides not losing their quota of wickets.
It was strange to find the nature of the Motera wicket changing drastically in a few weeks. Batting second, we found the ball not coming on to the bat at all. One needs the ball to come on to the bat at a certain speed to play attacking shots. When we batted second, there was hardly any pace off the wicket to force runs.
We are not looking for excuses, but stating a fact. Also, the Rajasthan bowlers mixed it up very cleverly to make scoring even more difficult. We started off in a great way, with Ashok Dinda claiming a wicket on the very first ball of the match. He also gave us a huge breakthrough by not allowing Yusuf Pathan to cut loose.
But, besides that, there was not much to write home about our bowling. Angelo Matthews, for once, was off-colour, struggling to find his line and length. Ishant too was not at his best and, everything put together, it wasn't a great story to tell.
The opening stand once again didn't flourish when we resumed our innings. It is important to get a good, solid start, especially when one is chasing about eight runs an over on a tricky wicket. Most batsmen did score at a run-a-ball, but we needed someone to take the opponent's bowling by the scruff of the neck. That didn't happen. It was strange to have wickets in hand yet lose the match by a distance.
We take on the Mumbai Indians in our next game. They have also suffered a defeat at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Our contest against Sachin and company will be interesting, as both the teams will be desperate to get back to winning way. We will have to be disciplined in every department if we want to turn the tables. Taking on Mumbai at home will be tough.
Chris Gayle, in all probability, should be fit. The change in climate got the better of the big man and he was left to recuperate in the hotel, combating flu. I believe he will be the last person wanting to be left out in a big game.
I just wish Mumbai again turns out to be lucky for us as in the first game. We really need to get going from now on. Lots of ups and downs are happening. A lot is still awaited before one gets a clear picture of the knockout phase. PMG