Mumbai Indians are off to a good start but I am sure neither the people around the team nor their supporters expected victory to come so easily. It was presumed to be a keen contest between the two top sides but when one team wins a T-20 contest with about four overs and eight wickets to spare then it is bound to be labeled as one-sided.
Mumbai looked more organised and I am sure Chennai has got the wake-up call.
The wicket in Chennai looked interesting. It has been re-laid but looks to have settled down. It had bounce, carry, the ball was moving around when put in the right spot. On the whole it was a different wicket on Indian soil. It would be interesting to keep an eye on the nature of such an 'alien' wicket in the course of the IPL.
The match gave us the first feel of Richard Levi on Indian soil. The powerful young man from South Africa will surely be watched, scrutinised by one-and-all. He is a big onside player. I am sure coaches and captains will find ways to work him out.
He’ll spend a lot of time with Sachin Tendulkar and will surely get a lot of guidance.
It's time to be on the ground and we all are focused. Pune Warriors have been discussed for long but for different reasons. Yes, we weren't part of the bidding process but we don't want to make that a lifeline for us. We do have a good bunch of boys and there are players in the group who want to get on the park to make a mark. As for me, it’s good to be back in the IPL after a long season of domestic cricket.
Our first encounter is with the good Mumbai Indians on their turf. It is always an advantage to start off against a good side because your strength and weaknesses are evaluated properly. Mumbai have a bowling balance which can be suitable on various surfaces. It was good to see Abu Nechim with the new ball and the young man was impressive. It was even better to see him given a chance ahead of RP Singh or Munaf Patel.
For us, it’s a good opportunity to get our balance right. We are a young side. Three of our players are in the India T-20 squad and many others are knocking at the door.
For guys like Robin Uthappa, Callum Ferguson and Steven Smith it's a big stage to show the selectors that they are indeed ready for the international scenario. Our fielding will be the key as we have a very young and athletic side. It will be a terrific atmosphere at the Wankhede.
(The writer is captain of Pune Warriors)
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