I’m happy to be back at the Wankhede stadium and let me assure you, that has nothing to do with the stadium’s short boundaries. Long boundaries or short boundaries, honestly, it makes absolutely no difference to my approach. Ultimately it all comes down to selecting the right ball to go for a big hit.
I know the expectations will be huge courtesy of Tuesday’s knock but this is a new challenge and we start from scratch once again. Of course we would love to get the same start we had to the Pune game but it’s a totally different scenario and I’m making no predictions about what will happen.
Momentum, as you know, is so important in a T20 match, and while there’s no doubt that a flurry of sixes can go a long way towards helping you gain some, the bowlers are just as determined to make things hard for you. However, I relish the challenge of finding different ways to get the job done.
Having a good bat certainly helps. There’s been a lot of attention on mine in recent days with people speculating on how heavy it is. I can tell you that yes, my bat does have some weight on it but it suits me in the same way that others would go for whatever bat suits them.
My kit usually comprises five bats and I pay enough attention to each of them to make sure they are up to my expectations.
I need no reminding that playing the Mumbai Indians, at the Wankhede, means we are on Sachin Tendulkar territory. We hope he hasn’t reserved his birthday treat to the fans for today.
As much as we’d like to get him out early, when you look at the other great batters in the Mumbai roster like Karthik, Sharma, Smith and Pollard, you know you have your task cut out.
I’ll be coming up against my West Indian teammates in Smithy and Pollard but there’ll be no room for sentiment during the game at least. I don’t particularly indulge in any kind of verbal banter on the eve of any game where I’ll be competing against my national team colleagues.
We’re all competitive cricketers at the end of the day with nothing to prove to each other and with one aim in common – to win the game and try to entertain the crowd along the way.
It is indeed great to see so many West Indian players excelling in the league which is good news for West Indian cricket. I honestly believe that this can be attributed to winning the Twenty20 World Cup as that victory gave most of the guys you are seeing, the opportunity to play in the IPL.
And the fact that they are living up to the expectations will go a long way to making the fans back in the Caribbean very proud.
Professional Management Group