CLT20 PHOTOS: Pleased Dhoni lavishes praise on batsmen
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could not have asked for a better start. And him hometown fans were indeed treated after a high scoring match.
Dhoni praised Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey for setting up Chennai Super Kings' comfortable four-wicket win over the Titans in Champions League Twenty20 match in Ranchi on Sunday night.
Hussey (47) and Raina (47) swung the match decisively in CSK's favour with their 89-run stand in just 44 balls for the second-wicket, which helped them chased down the daunting target of 186 with seven balls to spare at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium.
Image: MS Dhoni
'Raina and Hussey batted really well'
"It was a difficult target to chase, but Raina and Hussey batted really well. We were just looking to see how the first ten overs were going to turn out as the ball would be dry and could swing. But they saw through that period well and after that they attacked and put the bad balls away which is very important during a chase like this," Dhoni said.
"What really pleased me most was when Hussey and Raina got out and came back into the dressing room, they were really upset and that really says a lot," he added.
Image: Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey
'My stint with India A helped me work on my short-ball play'
Man-of-the-match Suresh Raina agreed that his stint with India A in South Africa helped him.
"My stint with India A side when we went to South Africa helped me work on my short-ball play," he said.
Raina added that was concentrating on timing the ball as well as he could.
"We knew Titans have bowlers that could bowl over 140kph."
Image: Suresh Raina
'We'd like to round off a successful six years with a good tournament'
Hussey said Titans had set a good target for the CSK but he was aware that dew on the ground would make it difficult for spinners to grip the ball.
He said he has always enjoyed batting with Raina.
"We wanted to get a good start and then work on that. It wasn't a preconceived attack but Raina is just an amazing talent and with him hitting the ball so cleanly, it took a lot of the pressure off me. I enjoy playing with these guys and we'd like to round off a successful six years with a good tournament here," he added.
Image: Michael Hussey
'Our bowlers need to tighten up'
Dhoni said his bowlers need to tighten up things as they progress into the tournament.
"I was a little worried initially after we'd given away so many runs. Our bowlers need to tighten up. Even saving six or seven runs makes a difference because say it’s the 20th over, it could be the difference between chasing 11 runs or 18," he said.
'The dew made things difficult'
Titans' skipper Henry Davids said the dew made things difficult for them while admitting that leaking 24 runs in extras did not help their case either.
"It was a very good score, defendable score but we gave away far too many extras. The dew made things difficult as well, as the bowlers couldn't grip the ball well enough," he said.
Image: Henry Davids