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Need to brace up for MI challenge

By Sourav Ganguly
Thursday, May 03, 2022

It was disappointing to lose at Cuttack, especially when we were in control till the 15th over of the Deccan Chargers’ innings. The last five overs took the game away from us and this is not the first time it has happened in the tournament. One can understand — and accept — that the last five overs on a flat wicket normally yield 45-50 runs, but when a team leaks 90 in the last six then it is definitely a problem.

That’s exactly what has happened in the two games against the Chargers. They came out with a clear plan; that they don't have the depth in their batting, so the top-three overseas players might as well bat the 20 overs and see what happens.

Chasing 187 is always difficult but we did well to get close to it.

Not a bad effort

When you are in pursuit of that kind of a score and fall short by 13 runs, you can say that it was a good effort. But effort doesn't get you points and, in the business end of the tournament, that is very important for us. This is the first time in the tournament that we have lost both our games to one team — and on both occasions we are to blame.

The biggest drawback is our effort in the bowling department. Ever since Ashok Dinda has been sidelined, our bowling has suffered and the worst has been in the death overs, where we have leaked too many runs. Even Ashish Nehra's rhythm seems to have been hampered by the absence of Dinda, as it is rightly said that fast bowlers hunt in pairs.

At the same time due credit must be given to Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White as they batted with a lot of responsibility and accelerated at the right time.

While batting, we were in the hunt for quite some time but the loss of two quick wickets at crucial junctures saw us lose momentum.

This game is all about momentum and it can't be from one end or from one individual. It has to be from both ends, and after Clarke and I departed that didn't happen.

We take on the Mumbai Indians at home next. They are a good side but struggling to regain form. We need to gather ourselves for a big effort, especially in front of our home crowd, which has been very supportive. We want to show that we are good enough and it's still an open tournament.

The writer is captain of Pune Warriors India

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