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Prajakta Pawar in Johannesburg

Good to get runs on bouncy track: Raina

CSK batsman talks about his knock against Sydney Sixers

Former CLT20 champions Chennai Super Kings lost their opening game of the 2012 edition of the tournament to the Sydney Sixers by 14 runs at the Wanderers Stadium here. Although they ended up on the losing side, Suresh Raina’s 33-ball, 57-run knock helped CSK stay in the hunt as they chased a stiff 186-run target. His knock was particularly special because of the conditions in which he got the runs. Often criticised for his batting on bouncy tracks, Raina dealt with pace and bounce with ease today as he smashed sixes and boundaries during his stay at the crease.

In a brief interview with clt20.com after the match, Raina spoke about his knock and the areas that CSK would look to work on.

Was there a lot of pressure to go after the bowling right from the beginning?

When you know you are chasing 180, 190-odd runs you have to play your strokes. Faf du Plessis played really well but we didn’t have any partnership in between. They bowled really well.

CSK got off to a good start with the ball. What do you think went wrong thereafter?

We didn’t bowl well during the last four overs. They batted really well; in the end I think they bowled really well in the last four-five overs. MS Dhoni and I, we got out in the same over and I think that cost us the game. Hopefully, we will do well in the next game.

Once again, you played a good knock in a crunch situation to keep CSK in the match.

It is always good when I am under pressure. I always give my best shot under pressure. I knew I had to bat well in these conditions where everyone talks about the bounce. When you do well in these conditions, you want to appreciate your batting. I am really thankful that it has been good for me. I have been hitting the ball well. We have to win three of the next three games, so let’s hope for the best.

In hindsight what do you think about the decision to field first?

On this ground, in the last three-four years, we have seen that a target can be chased. If you remember, 434 runs were successfully chased by South Africa against Australia here; so it is always better to chase. We always like to chase. We are able to chase 170-180 but today we could not do that. Hopefully, we can do that in the next games.

When you came in to bat there was a huge applause for you here. How did it feel?

It felt good. Wherever you go, you always get support from Indian fans. I am so happy to see all the Indian fans that have come to support the Chennai Super Kings here and when I went in to bat they wanted me to score runs. Thanks to God as well; God has been kind. I did my best but could not win the game, so it was disappointing for me. But hopefully, I will do better in the next games.

What are the areas that the team will be looking to work on?

We need to bowl well in the death overs. You never know what is going to happen in Twenty20. We need to play well in the first six overs. While bowling, we need to get wickets in the first six overs and while batting if we can get 30-40 runs, we can execute better later on. For me I look to be positive and hope to enjoy the next three games. 

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