I have just arrived from Sri Lanka where I was a part of the South Africa series. So coming from bubble to bubble makes it a lot easier. It’s been really, really good so far in UAE. I am really looking forward to finishing off the second half of the IPL.
As a team, we had a few strong performances at the back-end of the first half. Now the first couple of games in the second half will be very important. The IPL is an incredibly competitive tournament, each team is strong. So every game is going to be very important. We are very much in the race for the playoff spots. So the key will be to start well. We have got some very good replacement players, it’s a nicely balanced squad. I think we are set for a good second half.
So where would I like to bat? That depends on the team management. I have to check with the coach, (Kumar) Sangakkara and have his opinion. I have to discuss this with him. Some nice overseas players have come into the squad. So we have to wait and see, but as a Rajasthan Royals player, I must be ready to play in any position.
The tournament will be resuming after a four-month break. But our guys have been around here for some time now. They are getting used to these conditions, the heat and the humidity. It’s the same for every team. So I think the quickest team to adapt will play the better cricket. I think most of the guys have played in UAE as last year’s IPL was also played here. So they sort of know these conditions here. I think the wickets here will get pretty slow and low because of the heat and the amount of cricket that will be played. I think the guys pretty much know what to expect. And coming from India, a lot of the local players are well-prepared for the pitches and conditions here in UAE.
Now finally, I must be honest with you. Getting a chance to work with Sangakkara at the Royals has been incredible. I played against him fortunately in my career. You know I have always looked up to someone like him, he is an absolute legend of the game and his numbers speak for themselves. And he is someone you can learn so much from. We are so lucky to have him here. That’s the beauty of IPL. I think the best part of the IPL is that you get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the best players ever. Also, you have some of the best players that are currently playing the game. You are constantly learning and mixing with the best. And that’s what makes IPL great.
So, it’s really great to have Sanga in our squad, and hopefully for many more years to come. We can learn from him constantly. And him being left-handed, I have really learnt a lot from him. Not necessarily technically, we are different as batters, but I think as a mentor you can learn the mental side of the game, how to adapt to different situations.Internet Explorer Channel Network