Bangalore game over, we’re about to undertake one of the more extensive travels this IPL season. We are to play Gujarat Lions on Thursday in Kanpur. We’re taking a flight from Kolkata to Patna, from Patna another flight to Lucknow and from there to Kanpur by road.
Personally, I don’t mind long travels one bit. It’s fun to be with the boys. After an indifferent result on Monday, travelling together is a better idea than being confined in hotel rooms. Being together means we have each other’s company rather than relying on DVD players, Play Stations, books or a lazy bed.
The downside of it is, it’ll be tough for me to face the team and the coaches. I’m really struggling to get the Virat Kohli dropped catch out of my system. The team won’t make me feel like a villain, but I don’t know how to move on. It was easily the turning point of the match. Virat’s dismissal at that stage would have created an opportunity that we were searching. Moments like these are akin to wardrobe malfunction on an international red carpet, things controllable that go bust in front of the whole world.
I remember I was concentrating fiercely throughout our bowling stint. I saw the ball coming to me and it landed right into the pouch but somehow it spilled. Such a big game, full house at Eden Gardens, top batsman offers a chance and I drop it. As a cricketer, you get nightmares after these situations. But you go back to sleep telling yourself it was only a bad dream. Guess what? I’m living that nightmare since Monday night.
The score of 183 may not have looked invincible, but we could have challenged RCB a bit more. We consistently missed our lengths and on occasions, our plans too. There were plenty of short stuff and we lacked those subtle variations that catch batsmen off guard. But I’m not too perturbed because we have enough class. I’m not going to analyse the pitch or what it meant for us as I think a champion team should be able to win in all conditions.
I don’t know about the TRPs, but this is turning out to be one of the more interesting IPL seasons. Five teams are vying for three spots. It’s now a matter of one last push by all the teams to cross over. Delhi, RCB, Mumbai, Gujarat and KKR are all in the same boat. Next 4-5 days will be high pressure days. It’ll be about who handles it best. I’m ruthless when it comes to crushing the opposition and having single-minded focus on winning. Despite that, I wish no one drops a sitter the way I did.
Dinesh Chopra Media