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‘God has been kind to me'

G. Viswanath

Mumbai: Suresh Raina turned out to be a great finisher for Chennai Super Kings racing to a 50-ball unbeaten 73 with four 4s and half a dozen 6s against Royal Challengers, Bangalore in the play-off qualifier match here on Tuesday.

“From seven for two I was only thinking of the way we should chase. The situation was good. It was important to play till the end. Zaheerbhai was bowling well, but at the same time I had to take the initiative to play strokes. My plan was to be positive. I was not finishing it in the last two games,'' Raina said at the press conference.

Excerpts:

His attitude: It was very important to believe in myself and play my natural shots. We were practicing to deal with low full tosses in Chennai. God has been really kind to me. I made 94 not out against the RCB in the Champions League. The wicket was totally different then. This was my best effort. It's important to finish in an IPL match. When the team needs you, especially in quarterfinals, semifinals and final, you have to deliver and I am happy I have done that.

His advice to Albie Morkel: He asked what the wicket was like, and I told him to play straight, that the ball was coming nicely onto the bat and play his natural game.

Playing left-arm bowlers: I have played against Zaheer, Aravind and Vettori in first class competitions. I have played Zaheer in the nets.

On Fleming and Kirsten: I have been practising with Fleming. We have been doing a good job for the last four years. Fleming and Steve Rixon have been outstanding with the boys. I have worked a lot with Gary also. He always told me to play straight, that I can clear the shots and that I must trust my ability.

Pressure and partnerships: I don't feel the pressure. Badri played a remarkable innings. We had a good partnership. Dhoni came and played good shots and Morkel and I finished the game.

IPL final: It is very important to execute your plan. Everyone is going to expect us to win the final. It is important to do your process well. We may be playing on our home ground, but the final is a different game. You have to do well in each and every department of the game.

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