It’s down to the wire and there is a lot of excitement at having made the semifinals again.
There were nerves going into the last round robin match against Punjab, but the win has taken some of the pressure off. We have been grooming ourselves for the semifinals for some time now, and have big-match players who are in form.
We have been more consistent than most sides and that’s reason to be happy. What will matter most now is a match-winning innings, one that will win the competition. The Bangalore team has done incredibly well and will be very confident.
The IPL in South Africa has been wonderful and in some ways even bigger than it was in India last year.
As a product, it has held up, and I am looking forward to India next year.
They have a lot of quality cricketers like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher who are able to handle the pressure of big-match situations like a semi-final. The younger and less experienced players feed off this and gain confidence. Some of their young players like Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli have stepped up at the right time, especially in the must-win games. They have great skill and attitude and that is important.
Bangalore have had to work hard to get to the semis, and the amount of preparation for the must-win games must have been taxing. It will be up to us to expose that.
We have to start well, put them under pressure and then keep them down to create even more pressure.
Kallis is a great all-rounder, Kumble has been bowling well and Taylor is a dynamic match-winner. Bangalore have been effective and they have the players who can get the job done, but I think we can contain them. Gameplan