Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are determined to end their six-year title drought in the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), according to star batsman Suresh Raina.
The big-hitting southpaw, who has been an integral member of CSK ever since the inaugural edition of the cash-rich league in 2008, added the team wants to win the coveted title for their skipper, MS Dhoni, who according to him, "cares so much" for the Chennai-based franchise.
"MS (Dhoni) delivered a very moving speech when our team gathered in Chennai before the start of this year's IPL. He got quite emotional. He cares so much for Chennai, we all do," Raina told India Today.
"He has been amazing for CSK since 2008 and is one of the nicest guys around. So this time, we want to win the IPL for Dhoni," he added.
"We definitely have a team which can win it for MS this time. You need to do something every time he turns up and that is the reason we want to win the IPL for Dhoni.
"Hopefully, by God's grace, we will win the final this time, we haven't done it since 2011 so I really want to do it this time."
Raina backs 'bunch of old guys' to do well in playoffs
Meanwhile, Raina sent a warning message to CSK's rivals, saying they are ready for the playoffs. The Chennai-based franchise has also proved the critics wrong this season by getting the job done despite not having a lot of young legs in the side.
CSK were criticized for picking players who were on the wrong sides of their 30s at the auction. Doubts were raised over their ability to dominate the league in the absence of young legs in the side.
However, CSK have comfortably qualified for the playoffs with eight wins from 12 matches even as five teams are battling for two spots in the knockout stages. The senior pros have stepped up and delivered for the team in crunch situations.
The likes of Dhoni (413 runs), Ambati Rayudu (535 runs) and Shane Watson (424 runs) have decimated opposition attacks in the ongoing season. Their skipper has been showing glimpses of his vintage self by going full throttle at the death overs.
"We are all ready for the playoffs. Those will be difficult games but our unit is very confident right now. This season we batted really well as a group. Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu gave us good starts, then myself, followed by MS Dhoni who has been batting so well," Raina said.
"So if you see our team is so much experienced and has so many match winners in it. I remember reading somewhere after the auction that Chennai team is a bunch of old guys. But it is all about experience and how well you use it."
The former champions, who had returned to the league after serving a two-year suspension, will be hoping for a top-two finish as they take on Delhi Daredevils (May 18) and Kings XI Punjab (May 20) in their last two league games.