Sense of occasion should be driven in at the right time

India, Oct. 14 -- Well, my match days are usual and quiet. I like to do the same things and keep it simple. Contrary to perceptions and media reports, there is no warzone-like thing or long and exhaustive meetings. It is important that the sense of occasion is driven in in just the right amount. Sometimes, too much of it means that flair ceases and mechanical approach sets in.

Personally, I like thinking about the game. On match day, I sit in front of the television with my eyes transfixed. But my mind is in the match zone, and I am thinking of a match situation.

My wife, Natasha, knows it and she usually leaves me alone after organising my things in the hotel room. I am very bad at organising things.

Except for my bat, I don't know where my things are kept. Poor Natasha is running around to get my favourite pair of socks or accreditation card or zinc cream or my sunglasses. I am sorry Natasha, but I promise I will get better.

Stress-buster

My bat in my room is my real stress-buster. I am sure it is for other cricketers as well. It is strange, but merely holding the bat can be surprisingly reassuring. I remember the night before the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai. It must have been 11-11.30 pm.

I was alone in my room and thinking about the big final. The challenge of playing Lasith Malinga was occupying my mind. I got up, picked up my bat, stood in front of the mirror and visualised playing out about three overs from him!

Apart from visualising his sharp yorkers, I also visualised him bowling a few down the leg-side.

I didn't count, but I must have been 20-22 not out from that Malinga spell in my hotel bathroom. My stress was all gone. It is strange how the mind works.

Well, nothing of that sort happened last night, but I did pick up my bat a number of times and played a half-cock forward defensive stroke.

By the time you read this, you would've known if I played that stroke against the Delhi Daredevils.

It is a pity that given the time zone difference and newspaper deadlines, I can't share my thoughts on the match with you guys, but I will do that in my next interaction.

At the moment, the only worry is the rain, which has been a bit of a dampener. It affected our practice match against the Highveld Lions and, even today, we couldn't get a reasonable amount of training time.

This meant I had to make another round of the Sandton Sun Mall here in Johannesburg. The mall is connected to our hotel. It is huge and I occasionally get lost in the shopping area. Thankfully, Natasha is good with directions, especially to her favourite shops.

I am now headed for another round of the mall to buy a wallet. She says I should buy brown. But I am quietly determined to pick a black one. Let us see who prevails.

(360 Corporate Relations)

The writer is the KKR captain

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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