It's time for us to get back on the ground after a gap of three days. We got some time to look back at the last two games, which didn't go our way, and we missed our chance to consolidate our position in the tournament. We were well placed when we left Kolkata after the Delhi game, with ten points under our belt from the same number of games. We needed to win at least one of the two away matches to challenge for a place in the semifinals - any team that wants to do well in a tournament has to win the crunch games. That didn't happen for us.
We had our opportunities, though. In the Bangalore match we had wanted to bat first and got the chance even after losing the toss. We put runs on the board in the first ten overs and fizzled out from there on. In Chennai too we batted first but didn't make use of it. We had the best available batting line-up, with Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, David Hussey and me batting in the top half, and Manoj Tiwary and Angelo Mathews in the middle order. But we were done in early by a few wickets tumbling cheaply and a debatable umpiring decision, leaving us no room to post a formidable total on a pitch where anything in excess of 150 could have set up an exciting finish.
The tournament is springing surprises everyday and a few games have produced results to keep us alive. But we need to do this on our own steam, win matches with our own ability. We didn't fire and it is indeed frustrating the way we threw away our chances.
We can be fearless in our last two outings, play to the best of our ability and not really bother about where the wins in these two matches will take us. It is painful to find ourselves in the current situation, especially after all the hard work that was put in this year in the hope of a good finish.
There is no point moaning, because one will always be judged by one's actions. We should try to please our fans by winning the last two matches at home. At least they will see that Kolkata Knight Riders was a team that had the potential of a podium finish but just didn't make it. As captain, though, it will be no consolation for me.
(Professional Management Group)