Prajakta Pawar in New Delhi 09 April 2012 - 08:39pm IST
We have the best skipper: Badrinath
CSK batsman talks about his team’s winning formula
Ahead of CSK’s match against the Delhi Daredevils, the 31-year-old spoke to iplt20.com about adapting to different formats and his team.
Excerpts from his interview:
CSK has been a consistent performer in IPL. What is the secret?
There are several factors [involved in the team’s success]. One of them is that we are a team that has gelled really well. The important thing is it is the same unit right from the time IPL started. Right from the time that CSK came into existence the core team has been the same, and we have a tremendous captain, the world’s best captain with us. All of these, put together create an ideal team environment. That goes a long way in progressing yourself and the way we play.
Being one of the seniors in the team, what is your role, and in the absence of Hussey is there any added responsibility?
Yes, my role is very specific, and as far as my role goes I don’t want to really reveal it. But it is just that there is a lot of flexibility in my role as far as CSK is concerned. I am always prepared to bat at different positions and [fulfill] different roles in different situations. It is all about adaptability in T20 cricket. We have got tremendous big hitters, and it is important that I play to set up the game for the big hitters to follow and try and make a big score.
You have been the anchor for CSK and also for your domestic side Tamil Nadu. How do you adapt to the different formats of the game?
I am a firm believer that if you are a good player you can adapt to all formats of the game. So that is what I have been working on. It is not something that has happened overnight, but I have worked hard on it. I have consciously developed the game around what can suit me best. The important thing for me is that I always stick to the basics and try and get maximum of what I can do. As of now, I have played enough cricket to know what my game is and what my role is and how to play as per the situation. I use my experience and try and do the best I can. Hopefully, I can keep doing well for CSK.
Ajinkya Rahane just showed that you can win games and score prolifically by playing pure cricketing shots. You are a batsman of the same mould. What are your thoughts on that?
If you are good player in any one format you can be a good player in all formats so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to play certain brand of cricket to suit a certain format. It is all about adaptability and sticking to the basics like I said. [...] playing proper cricketing shots is indeed my strength and I always stick to it. And in that sense, coach Stephen Fleming has always been a key factor in reminding me that I am player of that sort and I have to always stick to my strengths and play the way I know to play.
Tell us something about Fleming that we might not know.
He is a major influence in getting our team together. He focuses a lot on team building and the way we can work together as a team, and is always looking to push us and take it to the next level. That is very important as a coach and he always lets us know that we have to come back to the basics. Even if we have a good game or a bad game it doesn’t affect him too much. He stays very stable. Having people like Fleming and [MS] Dhoni in our side really helps team bonding, and it really shows on the field.
MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel at Nos. 5, 6 and 7 is a big plus, isn’t it ?
Yes, and this year, with Ravindra Jadeja as well, we bat very deep down. So it gives us an added cushion when it comes to batting. And we can look to be more aggressive even in the middle overs and because we bat so deep, we can afford to take more chances in the middle overs. And with these hitters to come, we can set the game up for them to take over in the last seven to eight overs.
How does IPL help players in the domestic circuit?
It is a tremendous platform to showcase the talent of all domestic players. It is great an opportunity to play international cricket without even playing for the country. It gives you a lot more exposure. How much ever you play in domestic cricket, you don’t get to play against foreign players. So this is a platform where you can face a Brett Lee and you can play against the likes of Dale Steyn and great fast-bowlers, etc. [...] that I think for me is the greatest benefit that all domestic players who have not played international cricket can get out of this.
“Whistle Podu” or “Raise Your Hands” – what team song do you like, and why?
[Laughs] Whistle podu, it has the local twist to it.