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Batsman says winning in Kolkata is always a difficult proposition
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 15 May 2012
With his team needing a win to keep their playoff aspirations alive, Michael Hussey came up with yet another match-winning knock to help the Chennai Super Kings beat the Kolkata Knight Riders. After Hussey’s 39-ball 56 gave the defending champions the ideal platform to go past KKR’s score of 158, MS Dhoni’s cameo (21-ball 28) and Dwayne Bravo’s last-ball six helped CSK record a memorable win against the hosts.
iplt20.com caught up with Hussey for a quick chat after yet another last-ball finish in the competition.
Congratulations on the win. Two big wins in two nights against the top two teams of the IPL. CSK’s confidence must be on a real high at this moment?
Without doubt. This is a great win coming here. It’s always a tough place to come and win, so to come away with the [two] points is a great achievement by the boys. It [the win] doesn’t get us through yet, so we just have to keep the momentum going. But yes, it is a fantastic win. CSK has now won four of its last five games. Is the side peaking at the right time?
[Laughs] I prefer to have completely qualified and not have to worry about it. We had got ourselves in a position where we had to win all our matches to get through. We still have to beat Kings XI [Punjab] up in Dharamsala to definitely get through. We played a few close games earlier in the season, which didn’t go our way, but at the same time, luckily for us, a few close games have gone our way. Has Bravo said anything about what was going through his mind before the last ball?
I haven’t spoken to him yet. But it was simple. We had to hit it for six to get us through or at least a four to get it through to a super over. Thankfully, it had enough legs on it just to get over the boundary and give us a fantastic win. Is there any extra pressure on the side with as many as four teams competing for a couple of playoff spots?
There is definitely pressure on everyone. But as I said, we have been in this situation before. I think a few years ago, MS [Dhoni] hit two sixes in the last over to get us into the semi-finals. So it’s nice that we’ve experienced it before, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to win again. But it does give us confidence going forward.
You’ve come in from the tour from West Indies and have finally hit your stride. You must be happy with your form?
Yes, today was better. To be honest, I felt a bit sluggish when I first arrived from the West Indies. It took me quite a bit of time to adapt to the Indian conditions and making the transition between Test cricket and T20. I actually had not been feeling that good in the nets or in the matches until probably the last couple of matches. What makes Sunil Narine so difficult to pick?
I think some of his off-spinners look like doosras and so you are not sure if that is a doosra and whether it going to spin back in and then it actually spins away from the left-hander quite a lot. That takes a little bit of time to get used to. But when you get used to what you’re looking for, then it’s easy to pick. But it’s one thing to pick it and it’s one thing to play it. He is very accurate, gets a lot of bounce, a lot of revs [revolutions] on the ball and that’s makes him very difficult to play. Obviously, his confidence is sky high at the moment as well. He is a class player.
Kolkata Knight Riders pacer says T20 format can be ruthless at times
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 15 May 2012
Brett Lee was not part of the Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI when they were subjected to a last-ball defeat by the Chennai Super Kings. Still, you could feel a sense of disappointment in Lee at the end of the nerve-wracking game. Although, KKR played very well to bring themselves back into the contest, Dwayne Bravo’s last-ball six off Rajat Bhatia proved to be the difference between winning and losing for the two sides in this contest.
Lee spoke to iplt20.com following his team’s agonizing defeat to the defending champions.
Can you describe the mood in the dressing room after such a tough loss?
Yes. It’s a hard one to swallow when it comes down to the last ball, but you have to give our guys full credit. They tried their best. The game of T20 cricket is ruthless and heart breaking at times. We just have to make sure that we come back from this. We are still in a very good position. There is no point for us to moan about anything for too long. We have got a game in about 48 hours time. It’s in Mumbai on a wicket which is more conducive to fast bowling and which will probably suit our batsmen and bowlers more than the challenging wicket here. Rajat bowled well in the few overs leading up to that last ball. What’s going on in his mind right now?
Everyone is a professional here and everyone wants to do their best they can for the team. He will be feeling down, but we’ve got to make sure that we grab him by the back and get him up because he has done a wonderful job for us throughout the season. And there is no one blaming anyone here. It’s not about pointing the finger at the last ball or the second last over or the fourth last over or we should have got more runs. We’re in this together as a team. So, there is no blame, no finger pointing. It’s just T20 cricket.
There were three changes in your team today. Was that a reaction to the loss against Mumbai Indians from the other night?
I am not really sure about it. I guess they were trying to suit the bowlers to the wicket, but I’m not really sure. Two games left to go in this competition for KKR. But you must be feeling the pressure to win the next games with a couple of teams still in the mix to make it to the playoffs?
We just have to make sure that we win the next game. It’s one of those things where we try and get over what happened tonight, get through it in order to be nice, fresh and in the right frame of mind when we come on the 16th to Mumbai. The KKR pace bowling attack combination has followed a rotation policy with two of either Marchant de Lange, L Balaji and yourself playing in the XI. Tonight, you didn’t get a game, but you must be happy with your performance overall?
I have been very pleased with the way I am bowling. Playing here is obviously tough for a fast bowler as we’ve seen in the past.
Where do you think KKR will end up at the end of this season?
The best way to answer that is to play nice, open, free cricket come the 16th night. That’s all we can worry about now. [It] doesn’t matter how many points we are on. It doesn’t matter what happened in the last five or ten minutes. We can’t look too far ahead. The next game is our most important game of the whole tournament. If we can go in there with a clean frame of mind, in order to play the best cricket we can, then hopefully, we’ll have a win down there and then we’ll be back on top again.