Suresh Raina helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to register a well-fought victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai on Monday. He expressed his delight of batting at number three position for CSK and he has been well-settled at that spot for the last eight years.
When Raina came out to bat against RCB on Monday, CSK did not have any runs on the board and Raina knew his role to steady the innings. He batted sensibly untill the 15th over in which he got out after scoring a gritty half-century.
Ever since the first Indian Premier League (IPL) season, 502 matches have been played, in which CSK has played 125 matches and Raina has played in all of them. He has amassed more than 400 runs in all the seasons apart from the current edition of IPL. But he feels that so far he has enjoyed batting in this IPL the most.
"I have made runs in the last seven seasons and I am very proud of those performances. But the way I am enjoying my batting this season, I haven't done in the past. I may be scoring 20-30 runs but my mindset is very good this year. I have been getting out playing proper cricketing shots and the ball is often going straight to the fielders. But I feel really good about my batting," said Raina in an interview to the official website of IPL.
"I have settled well into the No. 3 role with CSK. I have been batting instinctively since the last 10 years, but now as the one-down batsman I have to be discreet about when to attack and who to attack.
"You have to plan a lot more about the middle-overs and building partnerships. I believe I have a better understanding of that this season although the runs against my name are less," said Raina.
Raina also went on to laud his CSK teammates for their efforts on the field. Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and Raina himself are exceptional fielders and with them guarding the boundary, the opponents have a point to ponder during their run chase. On Monday, Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik were batting well in tandem during the run chase, but Bravo almost catapulted one at the stumps to dismiss Kohli and turn the match in their favour.
"When Virat (Kohli) was batting, I was a bit worried. I knew we had to get him out quickly because he is a master at chasing scores and finishing off games. The run-out that Bravo pulled off was brilliant.
"In T20s one stop or one catch has a lot of impact. It changes the entire mindset of the batsman; he feels like everything he hits is going to the fielders. Batting at No. 3 I have experienced that," added Raina.