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Chennai Super Kingshave been near invincible at home since the inaugural season of the IPL. They guard the Chepauk as their fortress and beating CSK there is a dream that has seldom come true, until theKolkata Knight Riders defeated them to realise it to lift the IPL 2012 trophy.
The Super Kings haven’t quite been able to regain their home supremacy this season as a ratio of 2 losses to a win so far would suggest. After losing their first match of the season, against Mumbai Indians, CSK lost to the modest Pune Warriors India at home. The sole victory came against RCB, thanks to RP Singh’s overstepping foot.
After the 24-run loss to PWI, iplt20.com caught up with one of the senior members of CSK and the anchor of their batting line-up, S Badrinath. We quizzed Badri about the misfiring openers, crumbling middle-order and the tendency to leave a bit too much work for the final overs while chasing.
Losing at home is not something that CSK are used to. But has this season been a little dodgy in that regards?
Yes, we always pride ourselves on our home record. This stadium is a bit like a fortress for us and it’s been disappointing to lose two games already this season. But these are still early days in the tournament and we have always been slow starters. We’ll take a few things from this game and move on.
Especially while chasing, do you think the team leaves a bit too much till the end?
Yes, let’s be honest. We haven’t been able to get great starts and we’ve lost too many wickets at the top order. That’s something that needs to be addressed. However, these batsmen have done it for us before and we need to have faith in them.
What was the strategy behind not playing Michael Hussey today and in hindsight did that hamper the team’s ability to pace the chase well?
It was something got to do with the combination. We wanted Anirudha to get going at the top of the order and get Albie (Morkel) in to add some firepower in the batting and another bowling option. It was very unfortunate that Anirudha got out off the second ball.
Opening partnership was the hallmark of CSK’s batting in 2012. Do you think the openers not clicking is hurting the team this season?
Yes, that’s true. The openers are not able to get us to the required start. In that one game against KXIP, the openers just saw us through. Apart from that, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Faf (du Plessis) was brilliant for us last season at the top of the order. Opening is such a key role in Twenty20 cricket. In the first six overs the fielders are inside and you need to capitalise on that. That start takes on the momentum to the middle order and further in the innings.
Is there a case for you to move up the order and open? You did that pretty well last year in some of the matches.
I don’t know. I have always done well at No.4. If you see my record, my best average and strike-rate is when I bat at 4. Also, these openers have done it for us in the past and I think they should be given time.
Despite adding to the bowling firepower, death bowling remains a problem for CSK?
It has been a bit of a mixed bag so far. They bowled really well in the first couple of matches but today we slipped when it came to our death bowling. That is something that we will take up and work on.