New Delhi: Suresh Raina guided Gujarat Lions to their second victory of the Indian Premier League 10, after producing a phenomenal display with the bat against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Friday.
“It was a crucial win and a much-needed one keeping in mind the situation we are in in the tournament. I am glad we got a win tonight. I am very relieved,” Raina told iplt20.com. “To stay alive we had to win this game and move forward. Had we not got this one under our belt I am sure we would have been very disappointed in the dressing room.”
The Gujarat Lions skipper also spoke about the reverse fixture, when Chris Lynn almost single handedly blew apart the hosts' bowlers.
“Right from the moment I won the toss, I was getting a lot of positive vibes. I knew we had done well against them (KKR) in the previous game though the match got over in just 14 overs when Chris Lynn hit us to all parts of the ground. That loss hurt the team and me. I addressed the team and told them this is the game where we restart and go all guns blazing. The team was high on morale when we walked out on the field and the result is there to be seen. I have been getting good support from Brad Hodge and Mohammad Kaif who have been spreading a lot of positive vibes in the team. It was a great team effort.”
Raina, who have been finishing the innings for quite a while alongside MS Dhoni during their times at Chennai Super Kings and the Indian natioanl team, said that he always relished playing with the former Indian captain.
“I love batting in pressure situations and it is a challenge I relish. I have batted with him (MS Dhoni) for almost ten years now and always admired how he would finish games for the side. I have learnt how to cut down on asking rates from 9 per over to a 7 per over from him. The middle overs in a T20 game is very important and you need to take calculated risks. It is something that I did tonight and have learnt over the years. I was hitting the ball really well and looked to be positive throughout my innings though wickets were falling at the other end.
“When you are a captain, you are there to win a game and set examples for your side. It is something that I have learnt from Dhoni while playing with him for India and Chennai Super Kings.”
“It is important for me to keep getting runs and whatever comes my way I will take it. I have been hitting the ball really well and I need to continue the good form. You have to be positive and always look to win the game. I am thankful to have support from the rest of the batting line-up like McCullum, Finch and Dwayne Smith who have been hitting the ball well. I am glad I could come good for the team today. God has been kind towards me and it is good to end up on the winning side,” Raina concluded.