CSK Raina Dhoni
CSK batsmen Suresh Raina and M.S. Dhoni during the CLT20 game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ranchi, September 27Vipin Pawar/CLT20/SPORTZPICS

For the last five overs while batting in the CLT20 clash between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Suresh Raina had the best seat in the house - a direct view, just 22 yards away, of M.S. Dhoni annihilating the bowlers.

"He is one of the finest players in the world," Raina said of Dhoni after the CSK skipper smashed a ridiculous 19-ball 63. "He knows exactly when to hit big and when to rotate the strike.

"He is one of the finest strikers of the cricket ball. I have learned a lot from him in terms of how to bat in pressure situations, how to keep your nerve and control your emotions. You need to be very clear in your mind about how exactly you want to plan your innings."

Not that Raina was just watching and enjoying the show from one end, the left-hander himself was in sparkling form and started the CSK assault on the Sunrisers bowlers, eventually grabbing himself a brilliant 84 from just 57 balls and helping the IPL stalwarts post a 12-run win.

"In the first game (against the Titans), when I scored 47, my plan was totally different," Raina told CLT20's official website. "After that I decided that now when I get to a good start, I will bat till the end.

"I had a good partnership with M.S. today (Thursday) and he batted brilliantly. I was enjoying his batting from the other end. I'm happy that I came from 47 to 84 today. Hopefully in the next game I'll try to play 60-70 balls and maybe get a 100."

Raina has been given the opportunity to reach such big scores due to his position in the CSL batting lineup, where he invariably comes in at No.3. For India, Raina is used more as a finisher, something he is very good at as well; but there is very little doubt which role the elegant left-hander prefers.

"It's always good when you're batting at No.3," he added. "You have 45 overs in one-dayers and 20 in T20s. You can plan your innings well and don't have to play too many big shots right away.

"I hope to do well at No.3 for CSK and earn the third or fourth spot in international cricket as well. I want to go to the 2015 World Cup with a lot of runs under my belt."

Of course, you don't often get 20 overs when you are batting at No.3 in T20s, but with the form that Murali Vijay has shown at the top for CSK, maybe Raina can be forgiven for thinking as much.

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