Love opening with Bazz: Smith

CSK’s new recruit pleased to have a like-minded attacker for company

Abu Dhabi 18 April 2014
Chennai Super Kings will be smarting from the loss against Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi, after scoring 205 runs. However, one cannot overlook the sensational batting performance by their brand new pair of opening batsmen – Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum. Both, playing their first match for CSK, combined to post an opening stand of 123 runs in 76 balls, which eventually took the team past 200.

The best part of the partnership was the ease with which the two batsmen complemented each other. We, at, spoke to one half of the pair, Smith, right after the match. He told us that he and his partner go a long way. Smith, the former Mumbai Indian, also spoke of the drastic change at the other end of his crease – from Sachin Tendulkar to Brendon McCullum.

Here are excerpts from his interview:

Not a good start for the team but you must be pleased with your debut for CSK.

It was unfortunate that we lost, but it was a good debut for me. I love the team culture here at CSK. The dressing room atmosphere is very energetic and positive. I am sure I will love playing for this team.

From opening with Tendulkar to now opening with McCullum. What’s the difference?

Oh there’s a huge difference. It was obviously a privilege to play with Tendulkar and batting with Bazz is fun too. I really love what Bazz brings to the table. The good thing is that we are very similar batsmen; we both like to hit big and play attacking cricket. We spoke before the game and he told me, ‘Dwayne, if we bat together for 10 overs, the team will be in an excellent position.’

Does your game change much depending on who you open with?

I make sure it doesn’t change. There’s no point letting your game get influenced by your partner’s game because then you will not be the player the team picked you for. I like to be positive in my approach and stick to my game, irrespective of who I am batting with.

You and Brendon didn’t look like you were opening the batting together for the first time. Clicked at once?

We opened the batting for the first time, but we did play together for Sussex in England. That familiarity helped us construct this partnership today because we know each other’s strengths very well.

With you, Smith, Faf, Raina, Dhoni and Bravo, there is immense firepower in CSK’s batting. Who plays the anchor if the team loses early wickets?

There is a lot of firepower there for sure. But the best thing is that most of these players are capable of dropping anchor when the team needs. I genuinely think any of us can play that role of steadying the innings if required.

Do you think you are the quietest and most sober cricketer to come from West Indies? Planning to change that in Dwayne Bravo’s company?

Oh, that’s what people see of me – the quiet and sober guy. Actually, I, like any West Indian, like to have fun and enjoy myself.
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