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S Badrinath has been a crucial cog in the Chennai Super Kings’ batting line-up over the past few seasons. The veteran Tamil Nadu batsman has played the role of anchor to great effect. In IPL 2012, he found runs hard to come by in the first few games, that is until he was promoted to open the batting in the home game against the Pune Warriors India.
CSK clinched another last-over win, by 13 runs, and a lot of credit goes to the opening partnership of 116 runs between Badrinath and Faf du Plessis. On a slow wicket, where batsmen had to work hard for their runs, Badrinath scored 58 runs off 48 balls with four boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Pleased with his contribution in the team’s victory, Badrinath spoke to iplt20.com about his batting form and about being back at the top of the order. How was CSK’s strategy different today as compared to the previous match in which you failed to defend a modest total?
I didn’t bat in the last game and today me and Faf decided to stay on as the wicket was slow and the ball wasn’t really coming on to the bat. We knew that if we have wickets in hand in the last five overs, we could easily score 50 to 60 runs. We got a good partnership going and we set a good target.
You chased down 205 on the same wicket against RCB. So did you think 164 was a defendable total?
The wicket was the same, but it didn’t play the same [way]. The ball was stopping and there was a little bit of inconsistent bounce. There was some dew in the latter part of the match and the ball started coming on. I think 160 was good on this wicket but due to the dew, it got a little easier for them in the second innings.
You must be happy to get some runs batting up the order.
Being a batsman in the team, I would definitely love to bat up the order. It was a good day for me, so I’m happy about it. It’s always good to get some runs under the belt and get myself going. Your role has been to be the anchor and let others go for the big shots. Is it the same this season?
I think my role changes according to the situation. When you bat up the order and play in the powerplays, it is important to go after the bowling and get some runs and set up a good base for the batsmen coming lower down the order. Having said that, we have a strong batting line up with some good hitters and my role definitely is not to go there slam bang, but [to] try and assess the situation and play accordingly. The last time Steven Smith stole the match from you. When did you think this match was in your grasp?
Till last over they were very much in the game. They needed 25 runs from two overs, and they would have back themselves to win it. They had lost five wickets, so we knew that they didn’t have enough wickets. We needed one more wicket to wrap up the match, and we got it in the 19th over bowled by [Doug] Bollinger.
The Deccan Chargers, who are yet to open their account in DLF IPL 2012, lost to the Delhi Daredevils in yet another last-over finish. With a quick fire 27-ball 45 Parthiv Patel helped the Chargers post a 158-run target for the hosts after they opted to bat first. Speaking to iplt20.com after the match, the wicketkeeper-batsman said that one of the top-order batsmen needs to stay till the end to help post bigger totals or finish games.
Excerpts from Parthiv’s brief interview: In the end, would it have helped to have a few more runs on the board?
I though the wicket will ease out. In three overs we lost two-three wickets that made a huge difference. If one of us would have gone on to score [about] 50-60 [runs], it would have made a big difference.
You got a couple of early wickets, but could not capitalize on the breakthroughs. What are your thoughts on that?
I think credit should be given to Kevin Pietersen; he played an outstanding knock. We tried our best, but I think when a player like him gets going it is very difficult to stop him.
What was the wicket like?
The wicket was pretty good. I think it was an ideal T20 wicket. 160-170 would have been a good score, but I thought Pietersen did a fantastic job.
What are the areas that you need to work on going ahead?
Someone needs to score a big 70-80 runs, so that we can have a [set] batsman at the [crease in the] 17th-18th over. That will make a huge difference to the team. Is bowling is an area of concern?
I don’t think so. We have done well. If we would have got 170 [runs], it would have been a different finish, a different game. DC has had three close finishes. What do you think about that?
I think we just need to win one more game and we will be right up there. We have been playing well; it is a matter of time. If we get one win things will be different.