His breathtaking unbeaten 99 set up Chennai Super Kings’s 77-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, but a modest Suresh Raina credited his batting colleagues for the comprehensive victory here.
In-form Raina, who smashed 11 fours and three sixes in his whirlwind unbeaten knock, praised openers Murali Vijay (29) and Michael Hussey (67) for laying the foundation of the huge total of 223 for three.
“Hyderabad wicket, we were expecting probably 140, 150. Vijay and Hussey batted really well in five overs. And we knew, me and Hussey, Dhoni followed by Jadeja, we thought we can play till the last over and we can easily score 180. But I think last over, Jadeja batted really well. He batted really well against Steyn, that’s why we got 223,” Raina said at the post-match press conference last night.
“I was looking to play till the last over. Vijay and Hussey, they had a very good partnership, five overs 50 runs. Then Hussey was telling me just look to be positive, no need to plan anything. Whenever you get the ball, just look to be positive. Then me and Hussey had a good partnership. Hussey batted really well,” he added.
Raina said he was not disappointed on missing out on scoring a century as winning was more important.
“I am not disappointed at not being able to make 100 runs. We won the match that is more important. It was very good wicket to bat on. We played really well honestly. I was batting really well. I was thinking to time the ball and no need to hurry,” he said.
Asked how he had seen the CSK evolve over the years, Raina said, “I think God has been kind. We have a good franchise as well as coaching staff. We all believe in them. They gave us a very good platform. When you know you have a good coaching staff, you tend to learn good things and you can execute them.”
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Waqar Younis conceded that his bowlers were to blame for the humiliating defeat.
“It’s a bad day. It did not really go the way we planned. We bowled ordinary. We made the plan, but I don’t think we were able to execute. We have to fix it soon,” he said.
“Most important is to bowl straight. We did not bowl straight enough. We bowled all over the place. They (opposition batsmen) are all international players and if you bowl bad deliveries, they will respond. You cannot afford to bowl like that,” he said.
Younis said that his side will have to fix the issues fast to be able to make it to the play-offs.
“We got to really pull our strings and make sure that we do most of the things right. We have not been really batting well also. The good thing is we are winning the games. We are still in the race. We still got four games and we need to play batter cricket than this,” said the former Pakistan fast bowler.
He said his side chose to bat after winning the toss as they felt it might swing around with overcast conditions prevailing, which though did not happen.
“It’s T20 cricket. It could be anybody’s day. It is their (CSK’s) day. They batted really well. It could have gone the other way. It was a bad day for us,” he added.