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Anand Subramaniam in Kolkata 25 April 2013 - 02:06am IST

KKR smit(h)en by Dwayne at Eden

Stay focused. Be confident. Pick the right balls to hit: Smith’s mantra

He talks the way he bats. Simple and to the point. No half measures, no holds barred; Dwayne Smith made batting look easy at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Boundaries and sixes flew off his bat with the same kind of swiftness off that of an arrow released from an archer’s bow.
None of the KKR bowlers except Sunil Narine were able to curtail Smith who pummeled the ball to different parts of the ground with utter disdain. Mind you, he was playing only his third game this year in the IPL.

A match winning half century and Smith was a man full of confidence, with the only regret that he could not finish the game. In this exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, Smith speaks about his approach to T20s and his fearless style of stroke play. 

Just your third game this season, you seemed to have enjoyed your knock today?

Yes I thoroughly relished my stay at the crease. We came here with three wins and three losses and we really needed to get a win under our belt and build some momentum from here. It is good to get a win and I really enjoyed myself today.

What was the message given to you in the dressing room when you walked out to chase 160?

(Laughs) Nothing at all. I think my message to myself was to go there and believe in myself, get in and do what I want; because I knew they won’t be able to stop me that easy. I am the kind of guy who believes in doing what I know best. Today I just thought, I had to give my team a good start and I did it.

Opening the batting with Sachin Tendulkar, did he give you advices in the middle?

I have opened with Sachin before as well. He has always been encouraging me and has been a very good team player. He gives advices that help me in the end. I am glad to be opening with a guy like him.

You developed a liking towards Iqbal Abdulla scoring 31 off 19 against him. Was it a plan to target him, considering Sunil Narine and Sachithra Senanayake were more challenging to play?

I did not target any bowler. My plan was to get as much as possible from any bowler bowling to me, apart from Sunil Narine, because he was the one who was taking the wickets for them. Eventually I gave away my wicket to him which was disappointing. I should have batted on and tried to get the side home.

But obviously, you had a better idea of Narine, since you both play for West Indies.

I have not faced Narine in the nets much when we played together for West Indies. It is just that I had the confidence today that I would do well against any bowler. I just backed myself to do the job for the team and I am glad we ended up on the winning side.

Chris Gayle is in monstrous form. Keiron Pollard is one of the mainstays for MI and now you have got going. What is with West Indies and the big hitters?

I think it is just the way we play our cricket. We are fearless and it is good to see that the West Indians are doing well in this IPL and I hope that we continue to do it till the end of the tournament.

How difficult is it to sit out for a few matches and then perform well when you are asked to?

It is nothing new to me. I have been accustomed to it. I just keep myself motivated and stay positive all the time. My plan is to become more consistent with my scores and get Mumbai Indians winning games. I want to score a lot of runs and help the side win the competition.

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