Winning is not only a habit, it's also an attitude. One has to wear that attitude, get on to the ground and transform any given situation to one's favour. This is not preaching, rather the belief we are trying to inculcate in our team. Our fans are bound to run out of patience if we don't turn the table against Kings XI Punjab.
We have had a lot of team talk since our last match against Mumbai Indians; the effort has been mainly to gather one's thoughts, get re-focused and look to a new beginning. We can only try, honestly and sincerely. I strongly believe that if you are sincere in your effort you are bound to get results. This belief has definitely got stronger with the passage of time and I am not ready to budge from it.
David Hussey has now joined our team; he's got time to settle down and adjust to Indian conditions. Wasim Akram is also back and I believe his presence will give a new boost to our bowlers. After the Mumbai match, the bowlers must have been feeling very down; Wasim's presence will help them lift their morale.
We won the toss against Mumbai but didn't get going. The Mumbai bowlers bowled to a plan and we found it difficult to break the shackles. It was frustrating to have wickets in hand yet failing to get the momentum going. At the end, our innings didn't reach the desired target and we were short by about 10 to 15 runs.
The defence of our total didn't get off the way we desired and the Mumbai batsmen, under Sachin Tendulkar's leadership, took full advantage. We did get an opportunity to stop Sachin, when he scooped a return catch to Murali Kartik but Murali lost sight of the ball and spilled the chance. Had that catch been taken the match could have turned our way.
Punjab have been bolstered by the addition of the flamboyant Shaun Marsh but we aren't dwelling on that; instead we'd like to believe that the outfit we have at our disposal can work wonders once we get going. We are working towards getting our combination right for this crucial match.
The tournament is delicately poised at the moment. The points tally clearly indicates it's still very wide open. A win against Punjab will see a sea change in our positioning in the table. I am really surprised by some talk from outside the ground. After the first two matches people were going gaga over us; they even went to the extent of stating that we are a different side this season. The same people are airing completely different views after our three straight losses!
It's always easy to comment about the game from outside, without realising it's a very different game out there in the middle. History tells us there have been numerous occasions when teams have started badly yet gone on to reach the ultimate goal. In 1992, Pakistan were on the verge of elimination from the World Cup but went on to win the tournament. In 1999 no one was sure whether Australia would get past the Super Six stage but they ended up winners. We started off very badly in the 2003 World Cup and the entire Indian team was heavily criticised after our first two matches. We did turn around and reach the final.
To those who say I am citing traditional cricket as example, I'd request a look back at last year's IPL. Royal Challengers Bangalore were at the bottom of the table after the first eight rounds but finished as the second best team of the tournament. I can sense the hunger for a win in my team also and, once that happens, I am confident we will be on a different plane through this tournament.
(Professional Management Group)
Sourav Ganguly led India in 49 Tests between 2000 and 2005, winning 21