Kumar Sangakkara

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Blog Posts by Kumar Sangakkara

  • We know each other’s game inside out

    Losing to Australia was a real disappointment after such a strong display against the West Indies. We really believed we were good enough to beat Michael Clarke's team but in the end we suffered a bad loss after a pretty dismal batting display.


    The severity of that defeat means Tuesday's game against India leaves us playing a virtual quarter-final. We still might have a mathematical chance of qualifying if we lose by a narrow margin but we are focusing on winning outright and reaching the semi-finals on merit.


    We bowled really well early on against Australia to restrict them to 67 for five. However, we paid a high price for missing Cameron White, on 23 at the time, at short fine-leg. He handed out brutal punishment with a superb innings, dashing our hopes of restricting them to below 150.


    In the end it mattered little because we batted so poorly and were unable to build any noteworthy partnerships. I don't subscribe to the simplistic notion that we were just bounced out and found

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  • It was extremely disappointing

    Our defeat on Wednesday night to the Rajasthan Royals was comprehensive. No one can deny that. We sacrificed a strong start and were soundly trounced. It was extremely disappointing and frustrating.


    Our position at the halfway point in the innings after winning the toss was pretty good. Eighty-six for two after ten overs was a decent platform on a slow-ish pitch. However, we then had a really bad ten overs starting with the double loss of Yuvraj and Mahela in the 12th over.


    Their quick departure was a massive blow. Mahela was batting beautifully once again and Yuvraj, back in good form, was looking at his destructive best with three glorious sixes off Shane Warne. To make matters worse, just as we started to pick up the momentum again, we lost Ravi (Bopara) to a run out.


    When we started the last five overs we were still well-placed on 126 for four. However, Ravi's departure stalled us again and the guys found it impossible to hit the boundary. Rajasthan bowled well and we scored

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  • Another tough challenge

    Having reached the half-way point of the tournament, I have to admit that it is not looking good with six losses and a solitary win to our credit. Every other team has won at least three matches so there is no question that we have our work cut out for us.


    However, as disappointing as it is, we have certainly not given up hope and we are still looking to be as positive as we can in difficult circumstances. Twenty20 cricket is a funny game and while a couple more losses on the trot will definitely seal our fate even mathematically, we are also aware that with a bit of good fortune, we could string together a few victories as well, which will breathe some life into our campaign and give us some hope of staying alive. 


    As professionals, we understand the situation that we are in - it happens in sport, and no one is more disappointed than the players. However, it is only through remaining positive, no matter how cynical or over-optimistic it may appear to our fans, that you give

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  • I have a very talented side

    Clearly, it was a forgettable home game for us in Mohali on Saturday, when we lost to Kolkata Knight Riders. Besides the loss, it was also disappointing for me because I now have to sit out of Tuesday's game due to a one-game ban for a slow over rate.


    Many sides have been struggling with bowling their overs on time, but we all know the rules and have to accept responsibility for any delays. I have full faith that Mahela Jayawardene will stand in efficiently. He is a very experienced leader and one of the best captains I have come across. I am sure there will be no problems on that score, so that's a small consolation.


    We have just not been able to get all departments of the game in order, and this has cost us on more than one occasion. A lot of people are placing the entire blame on Yuvraj Singh's shoulders, but I don't think that is very fair. He cannot be expected to single-handedly take us over the line every time, and the whole team has to play as a unit if we are to turn the

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  • Things have not gone well for us

    Wednesday's defeat to Rajasthan Royals was a real blow but certainly not the end of the road for Kings XI in this year's tournament. Things have not gone well for us thus far, except for clinching a great win against Chennai but we've still got nine matches to play and a very open points table.


    Mumbai and Bangalore are in a strong position currently, Deccan also have the advantage of three wins and a game in hand as I write, but all the other teams have been inconsistent. This means a place in the semi-finals definitely remains a possibility for us providing we can build up some momentum.


    The game on Saturday night will be tough. The Kolkata Knight Riders had a great start to the tournament but have also lost games they might have won. We need to hit them hard early, take control of the game and not let them back in. I'm looking for a really professional and clinical performance from the lads and I'm confident we'll all deliver.


    The key for us is to get the three departments

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  • Good teams win close matches

    It was great to finally get on the points board on Sunday night in Chennai. Hopefully, we can now build on some much needed momentum against Rajasthan Royals. We've had a slow start to the tournament, but we know we have the quality to get to the semi-finals.


    It was a great game in Chennai and it is those kinds of tight matches that really make tournaments like this. It could have gone either way, but the fact that we clinched it is really pleasing. Good teams win close matches.


    As it turned out, I thought my losing the toss was a blessing in disguise. The pitch behaved differently to what we'd anticipated. We thought it was going to be very good for the batsmen but in the end it had some bite for the spinners and was holding up a little bit, making stroke play difficult.


    Although the conditions were not ideal for batting, it was still disappointing to lose wickets in clusters. You need partnerships and losing quick wickets seriously disrupts momentum. However, Irfan and Yuvi, at

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  • We need to find the best balance

    The IPL is back in India, where it should rightly be, and the buzz this week has been fantastic up in Mohali. There is real excitement about this third season and we are all optimistic about our chances this year. Our preparations have been hampered by injuries, as has been the case for several franchises, but the huge positive for Kings XI Punjab has been the bolstering of the squad by the signing of new domestic players.


    We lacked some depth in the first two seasons and Yuvraj rightly highlighted this as an area that needed urgent improvement. Our management team has done a brilliant job in the months since identifying some exciting talent and investing in our development structures.


    The signing of Mohammad Kaif in the auctions should bolster our batting along with the signing of Manvinder Bisla from Deccan. We've also added some depth to the bowling with medium pacers Shalabh Srivastava and Love Ablish, a solid performer in this year's Ranji Trophy Super League. Reetinder

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  • India remain a formidable side at home

    The series may already have been lost after our defeat on Friday, but we are really keen to finish this long tour with a win today in Delhi. I've been proud of the way our younger players have fought in this series and they deserve the final scoreline to be 2-3 rather than 1-4.


    On Friday night, I thought we did really well with the bat to get 315. It was great to see Upul Tharanga scoring his seventh ODI hundred and his first since returning to the team this year. He has grabbed his opportunity at the top or the order and looked really classy.


    The rest of the batting was able to bat around him and that ensured we got ourselves a very testing target. Unfortunately, although (Suranga) Lakmal and (Suraj) Randiv bowled well, there was not the back-up in the field that we needed.


    Gautam (Gambhir) and (Virat) Kolhi did bat brilliantly and it was a great chase by India, but our fast bowlers needed to be more disciplined. I felt we should have defended the 316-run target and levelled the

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  • Eden will inspire us

    You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out what went wrong for us in Cuttack: our batting in the middle overs. We had everything going for us: a blazing start, a good partnership which I managed to put on with Tharanga which gave us a good base.


    However, just when we had India on the ropes, too many wickets were lost and that the story of the game. We didn't really have a target in mind at the start but the focus was on keeping rhythm, working hard and building partnerships. We just lost too many wickets and with it momentum.


    Having finished with a below-par 240, we had to try and get something with the new ball but these are not the easiest of wickets to bowl on. The bowlers did a really good job and we were good in the field as well but we really had nothing to defend.


    After the game, we needed to take a good look at ourselves as individuals and we must take a lot more responsibility when we get out there again. We are competing well at the moment but now twice in the

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  • Both teams will be missing key players

    I was really proud of the team after their performance in Nagpur. Losing in Rajkot after such a good chase was very dispiriting for us all. We knew we should have won that game having got so close. So it was essential we hit back immediately to keep ourselves in the series.


    The team showed a lot of character and spirit. To beat India in their backyard we can’t just sit back and play steady cricket. We have to play exceptional cricket. We have to meet fire with fire and take the game right to a very accomplished India side.


    This positive intent was evident throughout the game in Nagpur and if it continues we have a chance of creating an upset here. We have a young and inexperienced team, especially our bowling which is missing several seniors, but they are up for a fight.


    A big plus point for me is that I know we still have lots of room for improvement. While our bowling was excellent, our fielding - especially my poor wicket-keeping - was still not up to standard in Nagpur. With

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(26 Stories)