Sachin and Sanath were my heroes while growing up and being in the same dressing room has been a great experience for a young guy like me. It was even more of an honour to share Sachin's birthday celebrations with him! Batting with him was amazing, too, and I hope I get more opportunities to do so.
Yesterday, the bowlers were spot on, especially Lasith, Nayar and Bravo who just went through the top order. Perhaps the big score we posted took some of the pressure off them, as they did not have to worry about defending a small total and were able to just play their game. Nayar is shaping up well and turning out to be a good all-rounder -- look at the way he smashed Flintoff in our first match, against Chennai! All in all, I think we have a very balanced side with good team spirit and are looking good for the upcoming games.
One of those will be tomorrow when we take on Kings XI Punjab who have won two matches on the trot now. We will really have to concentrate against them and play like we did yesterday. We may be on a high now but still cannot take them for granted as they can be very destructive. Irfan -- who can do a lot of damage with bat and ball -- Yuvraj, Sangakkara, Mahela and Bopara can really hit out. We will have to bowl well and a couple of early wickets will do wonders for us.
Yuvraj is one of their key players, and I remember him hitting Stuart Broad for 36 in one over here at Kingsmead during the ICC world T20. But we have world class bowlers in our side and it will take a great effort from him to repeat that act. We will also have to be careful of Yusuf Abdullah, who has been doing quite well of late.
Having Jonty and Pollock to advise us definitely gives us an edge over most teams. I have learned a lot from Jonty, who has worked with us in the national side too, and Pollock brings so much knowledge and insight of the grounds and conditions with him.
I was looking forward to playing my first IPL in India. Even by watching it on TV last year we could get a feel of what a great experience it was. It is big in South Africa, but back in India it would have been special. Still, I am enjoying the experience of meeting and learning about different players, countries and cultures. To the fans back in India, keep supporting us even though we are not there. Hopefully we will do you proud and bring the trophy back home
Coaching Staff for Champions Trophy
2 hours ago