A bit of song and dance, and much cake
Today is another tiring travel day. It is a lunch-time departure, so I use the morning to catch up on some gym work and spend some time relaxing by the pool. We only reach Kolkata at 8 pm and it's back to the pool for a recovery session. I have a full week’s worth of dirty laundry to contend with and then it's straight to bed.
Morgs [Eoin Morgan] and I have decided to venture out into town for dinner, albeit Italian as opposed to Bengali cuisine. It is amazing how aware the Kolkata public are with respect to the KKR players. We are asked for autographs and photos on numerous occasions and even get a mention from the band playing at the Park Hotel.
We host Rajasthan Royals this evening. It turns out to be a low-scoring affair and we get over the line with a few balls to spare. I have some Dutch friends over and they cannot contain their amazement at the fanatical support of the Kolkata faithful.
I was supposed to play golf today, but I received a last minute call to do an advert shoot. Was gutted at first but ended up having a great time making the advert. I was paired with Jacques [Kallis] and we had to make chit chat in one of the scenes, he had me in stitches.
The last scene was a Hindi singing and dancing sequence. I doubt you could find two worse candidates for this role. The director was very patient, but the crew could not hold back their laughter at our lack of rhythm.
I'm pretty knackered, but manage to watch the whole series of Stephen Fry in America. The iPad has become an essential gadget as a tool for relaxation and it was a great gesture for each player to receive one as a gift from the team last year.
Sport is not the be all and end all of life, but as far as cricket goes tonight’s defeat feels like being hit by a bus. We threw away an excellent chance to get a win at home against Kings XI. Even more frustrating for me was that I was in at the end and could not get us over the line. There were some stern words in the changing room afterwards since we felt as though we hadn't been smart at various stages, which ended up costing us the match.
As a player you spend the rest of the night replaying scenarios in your head. I'm particularly bad at switching off and I'm sure tonight's sleep will be filled with interruptions – reflections on where it all went wrong. I'm still backing the sun to come up in the morning.
The sun has come up and I was nearly awake to see it rise. The restless night behind me, it is time to start looking ahead. I'm always checking on the points table (even at this early stage) and there's not much in it at the moment.
It is another travelling day. I'm starting to feel that this is a transport competition with a bit of cricket as the side show. The planning and processes for the movement of teams is really remarkable.
We don't see our bags from one hotel room to the next, and airport procedures (check-in and security) are fast and efficient. The foreign players are still amazed how it all works. Only for cricket, and definitely only in India for cricket.
I'm watching the Arsenal match as I'm writing. My time playing county cricket has made me a keen follower of the English Premier League and I'm a big Gunners fan. It's a great way to unwind for two hours, although tonight's viewing is causing much stress. My mind is still replaying scenarios from Sunday evening as I try to sleep.
There is a heightened security status for our stay in Chandigarh and a trip to the nearby Nandos turns into a mini military operation. I have a good catch-up with Shakib and Binga [Brett Lee] over some chicken and a few drinks. Shakib has a great outlook on cricket and he is the perfect guy to have a laugh with today.
The team had a great training session under lights in Mohali tonight. The stadium and pitch look in fine condition and it's the perfect spot to get back on the proverbial horse. I'm quick to remind Jacques that this is the venue where I cleaned him up in the World Cup – caught down leg side.
It is also our analyst (and good friend) Shrikki's birthday today. The Indian boys love a cake ceremony and the management have planned to storm his room and cover him in cake and champagne just before midnight. It turns into an absolute circus and there are more than a few lads walking along the hotel corridor with cake in the hair and on their faces.