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The man who has led Indian cricket to glory in the Test and one-day formats is now captaining his IPL side to stake a claim on the most prestigious trophy in the shortest format of the game.
He may have lost the toss in the game against DD, but he got what he wanted anyway, as the PWI captain said, “If I had won the toss, I would have batted first.”
After scoring a 35-ball 41, the 39-year-old brought himself on to bowl and broke the partnership between Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen that threatened to take the game away from PWI. He rattled Pietersen’s stumps off his first ball and then sent back Irfan Pathan. Speaking about his performance, the Man-of-the-Match said, “I just look to perform every time I get the opportunity; I don’t worry about anything else. I just look to score runs.”
On whether it has taken him some time to get back into the groove, a matter-of-fact Ganguly said, “It has. I will because I don’t play for India anymore. International cricket is different and first-class cricket is different.”
“It is good at this stage of my career; it’s good for the team. As long as the team wins, I am happy. I don’t have to play for India anymore, so it doesn’t matter,” he added.
Appreciating Jesse Ryder – who has been performing consistently so far and who helped the Warriors to a comfortable position with his 86-run knock today – the captain said, “He has been brilliant at the top of the order for us, and I hope he continues.”
On his team’s performance – which has helped them to the No.3 spot in IPL 2012 at the moment and has also seen them lead the standings at an earlier stage in the tournament – he said, “We have been playing well, but [there is] still a long way to go in the tournament. So [it’s] still early days. “
The Warriors and Daredevils will clash again, but this time in Pune. So does the win in Delhi give PWI an edge over DD? Ganguly said, “It’s a new day and they are a top side, so we just have to keep playing.”
After an indifferent start to IPL 2012, the Chennai Super Kings are once again playing like defending champions. MS Dhoni’s men defeated the in-form Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets to register two consecutive wins at home.
These victories also show that the team is finally coming to terms with the newly-laid track at Chepauk, which seemed to have robbed them of the home field advantage initially. CSK’s star batsman Suresh Raina caught up with iplt20.com after the match against RR and spoke about his team’s resurgence in IPL 2012.
CSK is getting back on track, and you are playing like defending champions.
We have been playing good and God has been really kind. We have been winning the close games. Faf [du Plessis], Badri [S Badrinath] and specially the bowlers have been outstanding throughout the last seven games. And hopefully, we will do well in the next couple of games as well.
Do you think the solid opening pair of Badrinath and du Plessis has been key to CSK’s success in the last two matches?
[Murali] Vijay has got a couple of chances, but he has not been doing well. Hopefully, Badri and Faf will, as they have been batting well, and [Michael] Hussey will come probably after three-four games and we have a good combination like what we have in last five editions of IPL. And still, we are getting better. We are putting scores on the board and we need to bowl really well; we need to execute the plan really well. Hopefully, next few games will be exciting for us.
In CLT20 2011, teams struggled to come in terms with the newly-laid track. How about now, are you getting an idea about how to handle the track?
It’s getting better. We have a lot of new players coming to the side, and Faf and Badri are opening for us and doing well. We have won four games, and hopefully ,we will do well in the upcoming games. CSK chased down 205 and last two games have been modest scoring games. What do you have to say about this?
I think this is the beauty of the game. We need to pull our socks up and play well, and hopefully, we will win our upcoming games.