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We are definitely back on track

Stephen Fleming

— Photo: AP

DILIGENT: Suresh Raina has made a big impression not only with his superb batting but also with the classy fielding that he is reputed for.

We were aiming to get maximum points before our important game against Deccan Chargers on Monday, and we did just that against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday. The boys are feeling pretty good and the confidence is high. We have been planning and tossing the team around and we are close to getting the best side together. We are definitely back on track!

We lost a very close match to the Deccan Chargers last time round, and this time we will be concentrating on the first six overs, and focusing on bowling more accurately at the explosive Gibbs and Gilchrist.

They are match-winners, but we have important plans for them and if we can deny them then we have a great chance of winning. We have a very deep batting line-up, and Oram, Dhoni and Albie are all due for big scores. Raina, too, is in amazing form with bat, ball and on the field and really confident.

That catch off Tyagi to dismiss Gambhir on Saturday was the turning point of the match, and the icing on the cake was danger-man A.B. de Villiers getting knocked out the very next ball.

Chargers, on the other hand, have no real stability in the middle, except for Rohit Sharma and we will be looking out for him. If their top order gets going, they can win a game on their own.

There is, however, too much emphasis on the top four, thus too much pressure, and if we can get them out, we will expose their batting. Taking early wickets will also force the middle-order to bat longer, and this will help in keeping them to a low score, should they bat first.

It was a roller-coaster ride against Daredevils on Saturday. David Warner and Dinesh Karthik nearly did take the game away from us. But Jakati swung the momentum back to us by knocking them out, and we did not look back.

Good show by Jakati

Jakati is a great guy and has been working hard and deserved the four wickets he got against Daredevils. His success, especially on debut, was great for him — and the team. I am delighted he did so well, and am hoping he will carry this momentum forward.

Our bowling is beginning to come together, with Jakati and Murali working well in tandem, and we get all-round bowling power from Balaji and Tyagi, who have adapted very well and look settled.

This victory, along with the very satisfying and comprehensive win over Rajasthan Royals — it was a must-win game for us and the first time ever we have beaten them in the IPL — has only helped to raise our self-belief, which is a good thing especially with some big headers around the corner.

Gameplan

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