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Complete performance, says CSK captain Dhoni

Kevin Pietersen and Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Chennai Super Kings’ victory over Delhi DareDevils, in Abu Dhabi, on Monday.

Chennai Super Kings opened their account in IPL VII on Monday, thrashing Delhi DareDevils by 93 runs. The big win, obviously, made captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni happy.

“It was a complete performance. This was a perfect game for us. We did extremely well in all the departments. I’m proud of the boys’ performance,” said Dhoni.

Excerpts

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: It was a complete performance. This was a perfect game for us. We did extremely well in all the departments. I’m proud of the boys’ performance.

No wonder people keep saying that catches win matches and today’s game was a perfect example of that saying. We work a lot on our fielding. In fact, fielding has always been an area where we put a lot of emphasis on.

In the first game, we had our chances… But we failed to seize the key moments and saw the game slipping out of our hands. Today, though, it was a different story. The guys played superbly and made the best use of every opportunity which came their way.

There was a bit of help for the fast bowlers and they didn’t disappoint us. They bowled in the right areas and didn’t give away loose deliveries.

Compared to the other teams, we don’t have a very strong batting line-up. In fact, last year, we had more strength in our batting… We had Ravindra Jadeja coming in at No. 8. This season, we don’t have that luxury. So, it’s important that our batsmen play well.

Dinesh Karthik: Nathan Coulter-Nile is injured and will be out for some time now. He has hurt his hamstring. He is a very key bowler in our side. Many of our plans revolve around him. So losing him so early in the games came as a huge blow to us. We didn’t have a replacement who could complete his quota of overs and we needed to rely on part-timers to deliver the goods.

When you are chasing a big score, the first thing you need is to get off to a good start. Also, you need to have good partnerships. Then, somebody in the end would provide you with that final flourish and take you past the finishing line. Unfortunately, none of this happened.

Suresh Raina (MoM): We bowled really well today. Ishwar Pandey was brilliant… Also the fielding was excellent. In fact, I believe we won because of our fielding. I looked to play positively. I tried to forge a partnership with Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis… I was trying to middle the balls and my shots came off nicely. I think I batted well today.

The pitch was doing something. Jimmy Neesham and Mohammed Shami were bowling well. Unfortunately, Nathan got injured or things would have been different.

The new ball does do more under lights. But Dhoni used his resources well. I think Ishwar won us the game today. I’ve managed to play so many games for Chennai Super Kings because of my fitness.