The loss of Dean Jones is a terrible shock

This week we lost a great friend and colleague. Dean Jones loved cricket and was a kind and generous man.

He made me feel so comfortable when I begun my broadcasting career in Australia, and we spent many years in the Select Dugout in the Star Sports studios. We spent a lot of time together and he was a guy who I had a hell of a lot of time for.

Dean was a wonderful player, too. He was one of those guys I looked up to when I was growing up because I wanted to be like him.

He’d smash the ball over mid-wicket, he’d hit it long down the ground, he even batted without a helmet on. He was a proper showman, and I loved watching him play.

He set the benchmark for one-day cricket and he would also have been one of the best T20 cricketers around.

Most of all, though, he was just a really kind, generous guy.

It’s shocking news and I still can’t really believe that he’s gone.

It’s been a really good start to the IPL

On the field, it’s been a really good start to the tournament.

There have been some incredible viewing figures. We had 200 million people watching the first game and the numbers have been fairly steady throughout the week since.

It’s been great fun commentating on what has been some excellent cricket.

To broadcast a product like this – the number one T20 product in the world – and to be able to give the Indian population something to watch, allowing them see their superstars and their heroes, is very exciting.

Everybody is excited about how it’s gone.

Getting used to life in the bubble

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Game 1 - @iplt20 go time! Hope you enjoy our coverage! Who’s winning?

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Life in the bubble is pretty good. I’m here for a few weeks and I’m enjoying it.

We had to do six days of isolation before the tournament begun. Complete isolation – not allowed to see anyone, not allowed to go anywhere. But now life is moving again.

I have tried to stay on London time, so I sleep until 10-11am each morning.

I’ll get up and train, have a bit of food, go to the ground for the match and then come back and chill in the evening.

I can pop downstairs for a coffee with my fellow commentators within the bubble when I fancy, too.

It’s a nice routine.

The experience in the stadium is fantastic

We have seen some fantastic and dramatic cricket in the competition so far – the Super Over between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals on Sunday and KL Rahul’s magnificent hundred for Kings XI on Thursday stand out as great moments.

A Super Over in just the second match of the competition, my goodness. That really got us excited and in the mood for an unbelievable tournament.

What you can hear at home – the crowd noise and atmosphere – are all being pumped out into the stadium, so it feels like you’re at a ground with full capacity.

Rahul’s 132* – the highest score by an Indian player in IPL history –  was an absolute pleasure to be present to watch.

He’s a proper player. He plays good cricket shots, which is a lesson to anybody in T20 cricket. He’s not a slogger – he can play classically, build an innings and doesn’t let bowlers get away with bad deliveries.

All of the best moments have felt as magical as they always do because the technology in the ground is so good.

What you can hear at home – the crowd noise and atmosphere – are all being pumped out into the stadium, so it feels like you’re at a ground with full capacity.

It’s a shame that there are no fans, but the flashboards and noise levels make it feel almost exactly the same.

I think the IPL, the BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board have done the most fantastic job of keeping the game alive, and preventing it from feeling like it’s a club game on a Sunday afternoon.

Expect Virat Kohli to bounce back

We're all human and we all have bad days.

When you are as good as Virat Kohli, your good days come thick and fast, so don’t expect it to be long before we have all forgotten about his rare bad day against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

Some players may take a little while to rediscover their sharpness.

It's going to be interesting to see how Virat goes without spectators because he is a showman, and some showmen need to have that crowd.

There is that atmosphere coming through the speakers, but he can’t feed off the human atmosphere that you normally get at IPL cricket grounds.

It’s different for everybody. Each individual player will cope differently.

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