Friday’s win against the Kings XI Punjab in Mohali was a very good one for us.
But if you look at it from the Punjab team’s point of view, it just goes to show how everything seems to turn against you when things are not going your way.
After scoring 181, they dropped a number of catches and we rode our luck and picked up two crucial points.
What that match also underscored was the importance of having wickets in hand in a run chase, irrespective of the format. Kevin Pietersen played his role well, and Virat Kohli contributed, but it was Robin Uthappa’s knock that made the difference.
At a stage when we needed about 60 from 30 balls, there was a chance that we could panic, but all the batsmen held their nerve. The 17th over, which cost Brett Lee 25 runs, was where Uthappa did the damage with his incredible hitting across the park.
For us to chase down the total, with a player like Ross Taylor not in the eleven, and Rahul Dravid not having to bat at all, puts us in a strong position. It just shows you how strong we can be, in future games.
Dravid will have a big role to play in our next game in Delhi, as the wicket at the Kotla is usually slow and low and the spinners come into play.
The way we’ve worked is that you need an aggressive push in the first six overs, score at a run-a-ball and have wickets in hand to accelerate at the death. If you can do that, you will be successful more often than not.
Going into the Delhi game, it would be fair to say that the Daredevils have the momentum.
When they came to Bangalore, we were probably a bit relaxed, but that won’t be the case this time around. It’s a must-win match for us, and a win against Delhi in Delhi will probably take us very close to a semifinal berth. Both teams realise the importance of this game and you can be sure there will be a real scrap for those two points.
Delhi have some explosive batsmen in their ranks and our bowlers will have to come up with some good plans to contain them and execute well. Though the ground is a slightly small one, the pitch ensures that spin comes into play, and it’s usually a challenge for spinners to bowl well and control the game.
The Kotla is a ground I enjoy going back to, and the last time I played there was my retirement Test against Australia in 2008.
The ground holds fond memories for me, and hopefully we can relive some of that success on Sunday and return to Bangalore with a win under the belt.