Durban: After entering the Champions League Twenty20 final, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised Suresh Raina for his breezy unbeaten 48-ball 94 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in semifinal.
“Raina’s batting made it look so easy. Bangalore got a blow when they lost (Dale) Steyn. Raw pace would have made a difference - Raina cashed in and good support from (Murali) Vijay and (Michael) Hussey,” Dhoni said after the match.
“Raina has the kind of talent where he can take it away once he is set. The use of the new ball was important. (Doug) Bollinger normally does not bowl up, uses the short balls,” he added.
Dhoni also said the wicket, though sodden, was playable.
“Once you get in, it is a good wicket to bat, so we needed early wickets and it worked,” he said.
Asked about their preparation for the final, Dhoni said, “Well of course, there are some rough ends to be corrected, finals will be exciting.”
Meanwhile, his RCB counterpart Anil Kumble was quite disappointed.
“Too many runs on the board, then Steyn got injured, and then Virat (Kohli) also got injured. Things did not go our way. One catch, if the fielder (Rahul Dravid) had taken Raina’s catch things could have been different,” he said.
“We needed a good chance while chasing, but it did not happen. It’s been a fantastic time with this side,” he added.
Raina, the Man of the Match, said, “Great feeling to be in the finals. I knew it was 17 overs, I knew they will come hard with me, so I decided to go for the loose balls. We hope to do the double - IPL and CLT20.”