Indian Premier League 2010 April 18, 2010

Kings XI Punjab loss haunting us

If we are left with nothing, and our match against Mumbai Indians turns out to be a matter of statistical interest, we will still try to end on a happy note

As I write this column, none of the two matches slated for Sunday has started. Both are crucial for Kolkata Knight Riders' existence in the tournament, but I have to keep the deadline set for my write-up.

We will strive to live up to our potential in our last match and would love to sign off in style. If we do get the opportunity to reach the last four of the tournament, we will indeed try to give it our best shot. If we are left with nothing, and our match against Mumbai Indians turns out to be a matter of statistical interest, we will still try to end on a happy note, giving our fans something to cheer about. I know the fans will be feeling the pinch, about been so near yet so far. We too are feeling it. In hindsight, the Kings XI Punjab match and a few others are haunting us. When one is left in a situation depending on others then the feeling is more hapless.

Against Rajasthan Royals, our bowlers got it right. It was a much improved display from what we dished out against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings. The result was there for everyone to see as we restricted Rajasthan to a small total. The fielding and catching, except for a few hiccups here and there, was definitely of the highest order. Laxmi Ratan Shukla and my catch lifted the side and we could comeback strongly even after Rajasthan got off to a flier after winning the toss.

We did have the run-rate in mind when we went out to bat but were pushed back a bit by the loss of Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle in the same over. Cheteshwar Pujara seized the opportunity and played a magnificent knock. He did not let the pressure build at all. This is one guy, I believe, about whom we will hear a lot in the future. I have complete trust in his ability and feel sorry I have not been able to use him properly in the tournament, as we did not have the going smooth all the time. On a personal front the going with the bat has not been bad at all, considering I started to open only from the fifth match. A lot of people are also surprised by my fielding. I am not, because it is just the reflection of the hard work put in throughout the year. That's what makes it more frustrating. We were not so bad a team that we had to depend on others to know our fate. But there is still a silver lining, as our team slogan says, miles to go and promises to keep.

(Professional Management Group)

Sourav Ganguly led India in 49 Tests between 2000 and 2005, winning 21

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