|Mahendra Singh Dhoni,
Calcutta/Ranchi: Suresh Raina was the Man of the Match on Thursday. But he didn’t have any problem in admitting that it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni who won them the match.
Much of the credit for the Chennai Super Kings’ 12-run victory over the Sunrisers Hyderbad would go to Dhoni’s unbeaten 19-ball 63.
At the post-match media conference, Raina revealed that they had a meeting with captain Dhoni and that he wants his players to give their all and win the CLT20 as it may turn out to be their last tournament as a group. Fresh IPL player auctions are scheduled to be held next year.
The following are excerpts
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: We held our nerves… We knew they would come hard at us after we set an imposing total. So it was important that we didn’t waver under pressure… We needed to seize the key moments. I am glad that we could do so.
The wicket stayed very good throughout the match. There was a bit of dew and the ball was coming on to the bat nicely. Under the circumstances, it does become a bit difficult for the fast bowlers to execute the plans… But the bowlers did a great job, varying the pace and bowling in the right areas.
I think we got off to a good start and it was important to build on that. Anything around 180 is chaseable here. That is the reason why we needed a total of around 200. The platform laid by Subramaniam Badrinath and Suresh Raina helped me to go after the bowlers. I looked to hit it hard and it worked.
As one can see these days, boundaries are not very big in T20s. It was very entertaining for the people of Ranchi and the support for CSK has been great. I expect more people to come when we play our last game here on Wednesday.
Shikhar Dhawan: I think we had a great match. We were very much in the match till the very end and I appreciate the efforts from the boys.
We had a great start to our chase. The way Parthiv Patel and I were batting, we could have just made it. But we lost three wickets quickly which changed the course of the match.
I think 180 is a par score on this wicket but Dhonibhai played an amazing knock. Our bowlers tried hard. But, the yorkers didn’t work. We needed to have of variations in our bowling.
On the personal front, I’m enjoying my batting and I’ve been in good form. It was a good challenge under pressure but I wanted to win. I want to win more matches for my team. We have got a very strong side, all the players are good fighters and we can trouble any team.
We lost by only 15 runs and after the kind of innings Dhoni played, I think that’s a positive for us.
Suresh Raina (MoM): Dhoni slamming 34 runs in the 18th over of our innings was definitely the turning point of the match…. It was the game-changer… But at the same time, I must also say that Jason Holder bowled excellently for us… The way he fired in the yorkers was superb. He may become a match-winning bowler.
Before the match, I had a very good session with our coach Stephen Fleming. I couldn’t finish off the first game. That was a bit disappointing. But today I played a lot better.
On the personal front, I’ve worked very hard with (Duncan) Fletcher in the last six months and he’s been telling me to play with a clear mind. The (India A) tour of South Africa also worked very well for me. I hope to continue to perform like this.
I always like to bat at No. 3, because you have 18-19 overs to play then. While bowling, I looked to bowl straight… Parthiv was looking to sweep so I went for the stumps and got him.
Playing with the dew factor in mind is going to help us during the series against Australia which is coming up… At that time of the year, there will be a lot of dew. So our experience now is going to help then.
We have been playing well as a group for the last six years… We had a meeting with Dhoni before the CLT20 began…
He said we may not be playing together next year as no one is sure what will transpire at the auctions next year. So he asked us to give our best and win the meet for CSK… We are trying to do that.