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Bitterly disappointed and deflated

It’s the morning after our bitterly disappointing World T20 Super Eights defeat to India and confirmation that we did not qualify for the semifinals. Last night’s game was actually a dead game, as we were already eliminated, but we lost it by one run, and the feeling of deflation is probably worse than it was last night.

It’s just a horrible feeling. I really thought we had prepared well for this trip and did everything we could, making sure we covered every angle. We just let ourselves down in important games. I remember saying just before the tournament that it was going to be crucial to play the big moments well, and we didn’t do that. To win a World Cup you have to do everything perfectly, and in the knockout games you have to play some pretty special cricket.

For me, the turning point was that match against Pakistan. You don’t often get opportunities in international cricket to really take the game away from the opposition, and we did well to get ourselves back in the game. But then, for Pakistan to win it from the situation they were in, we definitely let them off the hook. That was a hard blow for us, mentally, and we didn’t take it too well.

Then, to have to win the next two games was a big ask, particularly as one of them was against an in-form Australian team. It was hard for us, as we were really looking forward to the game against India, but when we arrived for the game, you could almost feel the disappointment setting in.

We let ourselves and our supporters down, and it’s the second World Cup for me that it’s turned out this way. We know we can do better.

Obviously the issue of supposed ‘choking’ will come up. That’s unavoidable. To be honest, I understand that and it’s probably fair to say that we’ve done it again, particularly if you look at the Pakistan game. The game against Australia, I feel, they were just the better team on the day, and that happens. Then, the game against India, there wasn’t anything in it.

There are a couple of big factors in a result – a team can just beat you, the conditions can be against you, and then there’s the choking thing. All we can do is take it on the chin, with regards the Pakistan game, because that’s what choking is. It’s hard to get your head around it, but I think it’s a case of us just not playing our best cricket at these ICC tournaments, and I don’t know why that is. It’s a tough thing to deal with, but the only way we can get rid of it is to win a tournament.

It was great to get runs against India, but it didn’t mean anything. I had a tough time in England, but I had some really good experiences in the IPL, so I just reminded myself of those good performances on the sub-continent, and that seemed to work. It was a lot about my pride and I just wanted to prove to the selectors and everyone else that I can perform in this environment. It was about taking an opportunity and I’m a big believer in that. It was just a case of getting in, and that’s what I’ve been struggling with. Having said all of that, it’s still a really empty feeling this morning.

Now it’s back home and almost straight into the Champions League T20. We’ve got about four days off, and it’s been a long time away. So, I’m looking forward to seeing family again. Then I’m in action for the Chennai Super Kings.

I’ve been asked why I’m playing for the Super Kings, as opposed to the Titans. But, it’s in our contracts that the IPL teams get first choice. So, it’s not my decision. I’ve just got to be professional and do my job. But, I’ll also be wishing the Titans well.

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