It’s been a gloomy couple of days in the Indian Premier League due to the sad news about the spot-fixing scandal. A lot’s already been said about what’s happened, so I’m not going to add fuel to the fire. Being an active player, it is difficult for us to comment on these issues. All I’ll say is I trust that the matter is being handled by the highest authorities and I’m sure they will deal with the situation appropriately.

In any case, from Royal Challengers Bangalore’s point of view, we have too important a game on Saturday against Chennai Super Kings to be thinking about anything else. While it’s clearly not possible to just go about your business pretending nothing has happened, the general mood in the camp is upbeat and everyone is focused on just one thing — beating CSK.

It was obviously disheartening for us to succumb to our first home defeat against Kings XI Punjab the other day. Just reflecting on that match, I’d say it was a typical RCB sort of wicket but one which was not easy to play your shots right away.

I guess, being a 4 p.m. game, the wicket seemed a little drier than usual and bear it in mind it had also not been utilised much since we were on the road for six straight games.

Pujara got off to a better start than me, but I hung in there and as the game went on, I was able to make amends for the slow start and help the team get to what I thought was a defendable total. Unfortunately I was wrong.

I know the statistics appear to suggest we have had more success chasing than when we’ve batted first.

Honestly, as a batsman, I prefer batting first and posting a good score as you’re able to play a little more freely.

Also, for the team batting second, the chase becomes a bit of a mind game.

But the plain and simple truth is, these things are not in your hands, so we’ve got to back ourselves to be successful in getting the job done regardless of whether we bat first or second.

There’s no denying that we need Sunrisers Hyderabad to slip up, but since I’m a great believer in destiny, I’m not going to wish bad for SRH. First and foremost, we need to ensure we beat CSK, and then if we are meant to be in the playoffs, we’ll be there.

That said, if SRH goes on to win its last two games, then it would surely deserve to advance.

You get what you deserve! — Professional Management Group

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