|Mahendra Singh Dhoni, sporting a new hair
style, on Sunday
Ranchi/Calcutta: Riding a solid batting performance, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opened their Champions League Twenty20 campaign in style, defeating Nashua Titans by four wickets.
Chasing 186 for victory, Super Kings’ Mike Hussey (47) and Suresh Raina (47) clobbered the Titan bowlers to add 89 runs in just 44 balls for the second wicket. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was all praise for the duo.
Hussey, on the other hand, lauded Raina’s contribution. “Raina is just an amazing talent… He batted really well and it is a delight to watch him bat as he hits the ball so cleanly. His onslaught took a lot of the pressure off me. It allowed me to play my game,” Hussey said.
The following are excerpts
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Well, the way Raina and Hussey played was really commendable. What really pleased me most was when Hussey and Raina got out and came back into the dressing room, they were really upset… That says a lot.
It was a difficult target to chase, but Hussey and Raina batted really well. We were just looking to see how the first 10 overs were going to turn out as the ball would be drier and could swing. But they saw through that period well and after that they attacked and put the bad balls away.
The bowlers found it difficult to bowl with all the due. AB de Villiers batted really well. We need to improve not only our bowling but improve as a team as well… We needed to be prepared to bowl second as well.
Henry Davids: Our bowlers were not disciplined today… They bowled too many wides and we gave away too many extras. We need to get our act right.
The dew was definitely a factor. It was quite difficult out there… But that cannot be an excuse. We need to work on our bowling now. We need to play well and adapt to the conditions. I wouldn’t say this is a big blow… We batted well and need to take the positives from this game.
It was a very good score and a defendable score… The batsmen, particularly AB de Villiers, played superbly… But the bowlers disappointed.
The bowlers failed to execute the plans. The plan was to bowl back of length balls on the stumps because they were difficult to get away. But we just couldn’t execute them.
Suresh Raina (MoM): We needed a good start when chasing 186… There was nothing much in the wicket and we knew a good partnership was all we needed. Hussey and I got going and it was left to Dwyane Bravo and Badrinath to finish it off in style…
We needed to play strokes from the start and didn’t wish to miss an opportunity. We were looking to be positive… It’s important to play your shots in Twenty20. We executed them superbly during our second wicket partnership. It’s all about handling pressure in T20 cricket.
They had some good bowlers like Morne Morkel and we had to play well in the first six overs. I just concentrated on timing the ball well.
We got a feel of the wicket after watching the first game… We knew 186 wouldn’t be a big problem because of the dew factor… Unfortunately, I couldn’t convert the start to a better score. It’s not that I haven’t played in the past few months. I was there in South Africa and was regularly training at home. The stint with India A helped me a lot when we went to tour South Africa… During the tour, I worked on playing the short ball.