No room for complacency
Two wins in two matches - ample reason to feel confident and happy but we are trying to guard against complacency. This format of the game does not allow you to relax because one small slip-up might suddenly take the momentum away and then it takes a lot of effort to set the house right.
We next play Chennai Super Kings at home. MS Dhoni and his men have started off with a loss and will be trying hard to get back in the tournament with a positive result in the very next match. So we have to be cautious.
Twenty20 cricket has brought in a lot of innovation and Matthew Hayden's 'mongoose bat' is the latest to arrive on the scene. Big man Haydos is himself a huge draw due to his power hitting, and the mongoose bat definitely adds to the attractive package.
The Chennai team has more such colourful characters, Muttiah Muralitharan for example. These are great guys to spend time with off the ground and fierce competitors on it. You give them an inch and they'll take a yard. More of a reason why one doesn't have the luxury of relaxing a single bit, even after two straight wins.
Our first match at home was near perfect. It was a good toss to win and put in Royal Challengers Bangalore. Anil Kumble and his boys were playing their first match and one wanted to catch them offguard. There was bound to be some rust and we wanted to take our chances with that.
The bowlers did a fantastic job and bowled in the areas as was expected of them. Wasim Akram's knowledge and guidance has been a huge helping hand and I strongly believe Ishant Sharma and company will stand to gain big time working under him. Angelo Mathews was once again the pick of the bowlers. His effort in the middle overs has added an edge to our attack. It will be tough on the body for these guys, coming out and playing every second day. Our support team, Andrew Leipus and Adrian Le Roux, will have a crucial role to play in keeping the boys fresh.
Chasing a comparatively small total can be very tricky. You tend to become a bit soft in the mind, thinking that it's just a matter of time. But Brad Hodge and Manoj Tiwary didn't allow any slip-ups. Brad was his mature self and Manoj the exuberant one. I have always believed he has the talent to make one sit up and take notice. If he can continue the way he played on Sunday, this IPL could give his career a new impetus.
The two wins will definitely improve the team's confidence and that should come in handy in crunch situations later in the tournament. Till now it has been good team work. In Mumbai, Mathews and Owais Shah got together to pull us out of the rut. In the second match, Brad and Manoj allowed no hiccups, with the bowlers chipping in effectively in the first half. This is what is required if you want to achieve bigger goals. You need guys in the team who will put up their hands and want to be counted. That is what that gets a team ticking.
We will be joined by Shane Bond, Chris Gayle and David Hussey in a few days' time. The competition off the ground will definitely get tighter but we don't mind it, as long we keep delivering on the field.
(Professional Management Group)
Sourav Ganguly led India in 49 Tests between 2000 and 2005, winning 21