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Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
99: Pune Warriors India’s total against Kings XI Punjab – their lowest ever in IPL. The previous lowest was 102 for 8 against Kolkata Knight Riders also at Pune in 2012.
46: The number of balls that were left when Kings XI Punjab won the match – their biggest win in IPL in terms of balls remaining. They had previously beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore with 26 balls to spare at Mohali in 2008.
11: Number of consecutive matches lost by Pune Warriors India – most by any side in IPL history.
8: The number of ducks made by Manish Pandey in the IPL – most for any batsman. He was earlier on level with Shane Warne, Parthiv Patel and Amit Mishra with seven ducks.
1: The first time ever Kings XI Punjab won their opening match in any edition of IPL.
Chennai Super Kings are the most consistent team of the Indian Premier League. They’ve won the title twice and have always made it to the top four. However, MS Dhoni’s team plead guilty of being slow starters. They begin on the wrong foot before suddenly overtaking other teams to make the business end of the tournament.
The custom continued in Pepsi IPL 2013 when CSK conceded a home game to the Mumbai Indians by nine runs. After the match iplt20.com caught up with one of CSK’s star all-rounders, Dwayne Bravo, who said it is a good thing for the team to peak at the right time.
Before the interview, the flamboyant West Indian asked, “Why did you choose me for the interview?” Given his contribution in the match was 4-0-44-2 with the ball, 10 runs off 17 balls and a catch! But we are sure that after reading about him talk of his on-field banter with T&T team-mate and ‘best friend’, Kieron Pollard and his innovative dance moves on the field, you’ll know exactly why.
Not a good way to get the ball rolling, is it?
It’s the first game and not a good way to start the tournament. But in a long tournament like this it’s not right to press the panic button yet. History shows that we normally start off slow and then gain momentum. It’s nice to get into the tournament. We have a few new comers in the team who’re playing for the first time. There were a few guys (Ben Laughlin, Dirk Nannes and Ankit Rajpoot) made their debuts for CSK today. It’s good that they got over with their first game and we’re looking forward to the coming games. We have a few things to work on and as a team we know what to do. We have a good balanced team and I’m not worried. CSK seemed to have formed this custom of bouncing back after a rocky start?
It’s a good thing in a way and that’s why the other teams are vary of us. Whenever they come to play against us they bring their A game because they know that when it really matters we really turn it on. We’re able to get over the line from any situation and it’s a proven fact. We’d want to win every game that we play but in a long tournament like this it’s impossible to do that. Since two of your successful overseas players, Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis, are missing for a while, has the responsibility on you increased on the batting front?
Yes, definitely. They’re two top players and it’s difficult to fill their shoes. Albie is one of the cleanest hitters of the ball and Faf had a fantastic season with us last year. Yes, we’re going to miss them both and this is an opportunity for me to stand up and play an even bigger role. I know I have a big part to play for CSK and I’ll try to make the most of the big opportunity.
Coming to today’s match, do you think Pollard’s catch of Dhoni changed the game against CSK?
Yes. With Mahi there, we had all chances of winning and he was just two hits away from winning the game for us. Unfortunately he hit the ball to the best fielder in the MI team (Kieron Pollard). If it was anyone else, the ball would’ve probably gone for a six. But you have to give due credit to Mahi. He came at a situation where we were really out of the game and singlehandedly brought us back into the game.
Talking of Pollard, we noticed that you love to have those mini battles against him on the field, don’t you?
We’re best friends and whenever we play against each other that extra competition is always there. We always try to get the better of each other. If you remember, the last seasonI dismissed him and sent him off and he had that at the back of his mind today. I knew that his innings would make a big difference in the game. In this format he’s one of the best players in the world. He won it for them today. But we will have a match in Mumbai and I look forward to settling the account there.
Do you plan to unleash a new dance move in every match this IPL season?
Everybody at CSK looks forward to me doing some kind of a jig. It’s something that I started to keep the fans happy. It’s also a part of my style; I enjoy playing the game and being part of this team. I love playing cricket here in Chennai. They’re good people and I like it that I can do things to make them happy and keep them entertained.