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Glenn’s like Sachin, Viru: Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni compared Kings XI Punjab batsman Glenn Maxwell to Indian batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag after the big-hitting Australian smashed a stupendous 38-ball 90, in Cuttack, on Wednesday.

Maxwell hammered the CSK bowlers to help KXIP register a comprehensive 44-run victory. “He (Maxwell) is someone who is very different, like Sehwag or Tendulkar, and he is batting at his best,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation.

Excerpts

George Bailey: I just really don’t know what to say about our performance today. It was something brilliant. I believe what we saw there is the future of cricket. The kind of shots Maxwell and Miller played, even the shots played by the other young players in the side, are just amazing.

I also believe the basics will always remain the same. We were 70-odd runs after the first ten overs. So, they gave themselves some time to get set and lay the foundation before unleashing the fireworks. It needed some intelligent batting and they did so.

As far as my batting is concerned… I have been hitting the ball well but weren’t getting enough runs. My shots were going straight to the fielders. Today, I had a bit of luck.

Our bowling could have been better and our defence could have been harder. I thought we could have restricted them to a lower score. However, it was nice to see the skill of our spinners. Moreover, it was a bigger ground and the big-sized boundaries are good for the game.

I think we should take this as a great win and keep on doing the good work. The Super Kings continue to set the benchmark and it really gives us confidence to beat them a couple of times.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: We saw some exceptional hitting from Maxwell today and he was well supported by the other batsmen. There was hardly any batsman in their ranks who went out and didn’t get runs. They made the most out of it when they got the momentum.

However, it was Maxwell who took on the bowlers mostly. He is playing unorthodox shots like the switch-hit and the reverse sweep to good effect. Anyone can try these shots, but one has to have some serious talent to execute them match after match. He is someone who is very different, like Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, and he is batting at his best.

I think we lost the plot in the last ten overs in the first innings. They could manage some 70-odd runs in the first ten overs… so, I would say that was good bowling from our fast bowlers. But, once the spinners came on, the KXIP batsmen took them apart and got plenty out of them. It was a very good wicket as well, even though it became a bit two paced in the second innings.

Once we realised that the target has got too big for us to chase down, we decided to play the match out. Because, at times you go after the bowling while chasing 230-odd runs and end up getting all out at 130. It really hampers your run rate in a tournament like this. We didn’t want that. Of course, we wanted to chase the target. But for that we wanted a good start from Smith and McCullum. Even when Smith got out early, we threw in Jadeja. After he got out, we decided to play it safe.

Glenn Maxwell (MoM): It feels nice to have a few MoM trophies in my cabinet. The pitch was a lovely one, the ball was coming on to the bat nicely. However, it slowed down a bit for the spinners.

Myself and Miller love batting together, we were talking about it a lot and it was fun to have a big partnership together... We hit a few out of the park.

As far as my shots are concerned, I practise them and keep trying to expand my game and try and hit the ball to different parts of the ground. At the moment, I’m just trying to do what I’m doing and we’re winning as well. It is nice to be on the winning side and all our plans are working as of now. It is good to be on top of the table.

Initially, I thought the pitch was on the slower side, but it turned out to be better. Bailey made sure that we get to a big score in the end. It was a great crowd out here. Hopefully, we will get the same kind of support when we play here again on Sunday.