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Raring to go, just waiting for my chance

I’m writing this the day after we’ve lost for the first time in eight games. Obviously it’s not nice to lose, but to go seven games in a row in the IPL without losing is pretty impressive, particularly with Twenty20 cricket being so unpredictable. As it is, we’re still pretty happy, with the Chennai Super Kings still at the top of the standings.

If I look at those seven games we won, it’s interesting when I think of them as a whole. I think we were lucky in some games, and in a few of them we played some great cricket under pressure. But, I also think that we didn’t play our best cricket, which actually bodes well for us and is in line with how we’ve peaked later in the tournament the last few seasons.

If you take all of that into account, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that the CSK dressing room wasn’t that gloomy after the defeat to the Mumbai Indians. Speaking to the guys, it was obvious that everyone saw this as just a blip and they were already looking ahead to the next game.

I talked last week about what the guys get up to after games, when we’re playing at home in Chennai. It’s a bit different when we’re away from home – the guys tend to scatter into their own smaller groups. Our Aussie guys joined up with the Aussies in the Mumbai team, and that’s kind of how it goes. There weren’t any South Africans in the opposing team, but Dale Steyn and Quinton de Kock are in the Sunrisers team and we’re playing them this week, so we’ll make sure we do something together after the game.

There have been a couple of key players for us so far – MS Dhoni has had a great tournament, Suresh Raina got a hundred the other night and Mike Hussey has been awesome. As a team, I think we’re getting better and that’s good, as we’re getting to the business end of the tournament now.

No games for me just yet, even though I’ve been available for the past two games. No big surprise, with Hussey playing so well up front. Also, the Super Kings have great overseas pros, so that just makes it even harder to break into the team from the outside, particularly when it’s on such a good run. But, I’m ready and raring to go, and I was prepared for this situation, knowing that the injury would put me behind everyone else and give other guys an opportunity.

I do think I’m going to get a game soon, but even if I don’t, I’m looking on the bright side – the longer I don’t play, the stronger my back is going to get. That’s the life of a professional sportsman, I guess – you have to take the rough with the smooth and injuries are part of your lot. I’m also having a great time in Chennai and know that I’m lucky to be here. But I would like to get some cricket in before the Champions Trophy, which is just round the corner.

Speaking of the Champions Trophy, the big news when the squad was announced last week was that Jacques Kallis was sitting out. I’d be stating the obvious if I said it’s a big loss, because Kallis really is one of the legends of the game. That being said, he hasn’t played in the last two series, and the squad is getting used to not having him around and instead being forced to rely on ourselves, which I think is a healthy situation. He’s been a rock for South Africa for so long, but the next generation has to step up and take responsibility, so it’s good to see the likes of JP Duminy back from injury.

Until next week, when I’ll hopefully report back on my first bit of IPL action in 2013.

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