We knew we could target Dhawal: Bravo

CSK all-rounder says his team went after the MI pacer despite his early breakthroughs

By Akshay Manwani
Bengaluru 24 May 2012
Dwayne Bravo best reflected the mood in the Chennai Super Kings camp. The all-rounder was all smiles and overcome with joy as the defending champions thrashed the Mumbai Indians in the eliminator of the DLF IPL 2012 Playoffs. It wasn’t an easy win for CSK, though. They had been forced on the back foot by a double-strike from Dhawal Kulkarni in just the second over of the match. However, Subramaniam Badrinath and Michael Hussey put on a 94-run stand for the third wicket to dig CSK out of that hole. After that, MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo thrashed the MI bowlers, Kulkarni included, at the end of the innings to power the team to a match-winning score of 187. caught up with Bravo for an exclusive chat following the 38-run victory posted by CSK.

A terrific win for CSK, coming back to score 187 after being reduced to two for one early on. Your thoughts on that?

Obviously. This game was a must-win game; if we lost we were out and that was it. Mumbai [Indians] are a very good team. They had us on the back foot up front, but we bat fairly deep. We have a lot of experience. So we backed ourselves, myself and the captain [MS Dhoni]. We said once we bat the 20 overs, obviously, we will get a good total, which we can defend.

Where did MI bowlers go wrong because even after the initial breakthroughs they had kept you down to 61 in the first 10 overs?

It was not where they bowled wrong. You have to give to credit to the way Mahi [MS Dhoni] batted. Hussey in the middle there, Badrinath and then obviously myself coming in at the end. We just backed ourselves. We knew [Lasith] Malinga was a key bowler, so we didn’t try to be aggressive with him and lose our wickets. We tried to target the other bowlers. Obviously, Dhawal bowled well upfront with the new ball, but he is very inexperienced. We knew we could take him down, target him and get a total that we could defend.

You spoke about Badrinath. One gets the feeling that he is CSK’s go-to-man when the side is in trouble?

It’s always good to have someone like him on the team. If you look at our team, we are very flexible. Badrinath is our floater in the team. We set the batting order according to how the game is going. We need to give credit to Mahi and the coaching staff for that.

You play the Delhi Daredevils next on May 25. What do you make of them?

Another good game, another fantastic team. We are looking forward to playing at home. Hopefully, we can get another win and go through to the finals.

Is the thought of winning three successive IPL titles playing on your mind?

We’re just enjoying our game, playing free and enjoying the challenge ahead of us.
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