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The Chennai Super Kings were in control of today’s match for 30 overs. But with tremendous fighting spirit combined with fine death bowling by Kings XI Punjab stole the match away from their grasp.
After defeating the defending champions at home, KXIP batsman David Miller was pumped up. He took time out from the lengthy celebrations in the visiting camp to speak to iplt20.com after the thrilling seven-run victory.
Here’s what he had to say:
What do you make of this victory?
We came here as underdogs, and we just said to each other in team meeting to show courage and fight. That’s all you can ask for at the end of the day. And we came out on top.
The way you started, it looked like you will get a big score. What was the talk like in the dressing room after scoring 156 runs?
The ball was nice and hard up front, so it came on nicely. As the overs went on, the ball got a little bit softer and they started taking some pace off it, which was a little bit tricky. We started off nicely and finished off very well with the bowl. Do you think your bowling changes fell into place today?
We don’t really have a formula. We were in a similar situation in the last game against MI [Mumbai Indians] and ended up on the losing side. I am so happy that the boys pulled it off today
How has your experience in the IPL been so far?
I have really enjoyed it. It’s great to tour India with all the people who are so passionate about their sport. It’s so humbling to come here and see the people and how they live. The culture, the food and the hospitality is just awesome. This pitch has always been a mystery. What did you make of it today?
It was a slow wicket, so we started taking the pace off the ball towards the end. It’s a great stadium. I think this pitch is on the slower side.
How much confidence does beating the defending champions in their own backyard give you?
It’s a huge confidence booster for the boys. We always take one game at a time and that’s what we are focused on. We are moving to Bangalore for the next game, and this victory has given the boys a confidence and an energy boost.
Out of KXIP’s four victories, three have come in away games and only has been at home. Isn’t that different from the norm?
We haven’t played well at home this year and we have few more games at home. Hopefully, we can win them.
With nine games down and seven more to go, what’s the road ahead like for KXIP?
Like I have said, we just take one game at a time and its crunch time towards the end of the competition. Every game is vital from here, so we will take one game at a time and move forward from there.
The Chennai Super Kings have made a habit of playing out last-over thrillers in IPL 2012. While more often than not, their array of stroke-makers has rescued them, the strategy of leaving it for too late backfired against a resurgent Kings XI Punjab side.
After the defending champions failed to chase down 156 at home against the underdogs, their in-form opening batsman, Faf du Plessis, admitted they allowed the opposition to sneak back into the game.
On a positive note, the South African batsman spoke enthusiastically about his own form in the tournament and revealed how the IPL has helped him discover the opening batsman in him.
Here are the excerpts from du Plessis’s exclusive interview with iplt20.com: The team is making a habit of playing out these thrillers. This time, it didn’t go your way.
It’s bound to happen. We were quite fortunate on winning those couple of close games and you are not always going to win them. The wicket was a bit slow today, and on another day, on a better wicket, we would have got it. Having said that, we should have tried to do something different and tried to finish it earlier with them having two good death bowlers, and the wicket being on the slower side. My goal with the new ball was to try and attack as much as possible. Talking about your batting, you had to wait the entire last season and you are making it count this time.
It’s worth the wait. It’s awesome for me to get an opportunity to bat up the order. I love the opening role ,and I hope I continue my good form.
Since you’ve been joined by S Badrinath up the order, the opening pair looks very settled. What’s your take on that?
It’s a very important combination to have, as with the new ball being hard, we need to be aggressive as openers. I and Badri complement each other very well. Murali Vijay is also a great player and he has proved that over the years for CSK. But at the moment, I and Badri are really batting well together, and I think we put the bowlers under pressure.
Has playing in the IPL enhanced any areas of your game?
I’ve grown as an opener. This is the first time I am opening for CSK, and [first time] ever in my career. Every time I go there, I am starting to understand what is needed, when is the time to go normally and when is the time to attack. It’s a learning experience for me, and I have learnt a lot and hoping to learn a lot more. How does having a calm captain-coach combination of MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming help?
That’s the thing I look for in a captain and a coach. They are always calm and never panic, which is great for the side. That’s why CSK has done so well over the years.
Did you know that you missed the Orange Cap by one run today?
Did I? Never mind. I wasn’t going to feel it anyway. I am sure some other guy would have taken it in the next game. Hopefully, I can score some more runs in the next game. But for me winning is a more important thing.
Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen have hit 19 sixes so far and you are second with 16. Your thoughts on that.
I am normally not in that company. If you would have asked me couple of months before the IPL, I would have not taken it seriously. But it feels nice to be in their company.