• 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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  • We have had a bit of a break after the match against Mumbai Indians, and have spoken about the areas in which we need to improve. We know it is crucial for us to win on Saturday against Kings XI Punjab to give us a chance to get closer to a semi-final berth.

     

    It has been disappointing to lose three in a row, but we are not out yet and have not pressed the panic button, as it just takes one win to get back momentum.

     

    Punjab has not been having the best of tournaments either, and is low on confidence so this is perhaps a good time to play them. It won't be easy on their home ground but we definitely will have to shut that out and go all out for a win.

     

    The hosts, too, would be desperate for a win, and have big hitters like Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan, and some great overseas players. It will be a matter of bowling straight and using variations of pace to try and restrict them.

     

    In Twenty20, just one individual can take the game away, so we need to ensure that none of their key

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  • Daniel Vettori becomes only the second New Zealander to play in 100 Tests at Hamilton on Saturday and the honour could not go to a nicer man. The man whom he succeeded as captain Stephen Fleming was the first New Zealand cricketer to achieve the landmark.

     

    In a game where behaviour is at an all time low, the 31-year-old Vettori comes across as a whiff of fresh air. He plays the game hard, let there be no doubt about that. But he plays it within the spirit and the laws of the game. He is living proof that nice guys can still be highly successful.

     

    If the finest example of bowler turned batsman would still be Wilfred Rhodes then Vettori would be a close contender for second spot. The legendary England all rounder started his career as a left arm spinner going in at No 11, worked hard on his batting and ere long was opening the innings in an Ashes Test with Jack Hobbs, on one famous occasion putting on 323 runs with his famous partner. Vettori is very much in the same mould. He started

    Read More »from Nice guys can still be highly successful

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