Kolkata: After registering a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders last evening, Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina has revealed that he had told his teammates ahead of the match that it was a right time for them to `restart` and go all guns blazing, with his side were languishing down to eighth place on the Indian Premier League (IPL) table.
Raina’s guidance came in the wake of his side’s ten-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous IPL match.
Openers Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn had smashed 76 and 93, respectively to help KKR chased down 184 with 10 wickets in hand and more than five overs to spare. However, Raina said that his team did play extremely well during that match, adding they should feed off the positive morale in the camp.
“Right from the moment I won the toss, I was getting a lot of positive vibes. I knew we had done well against them [KKR] in the previous game though the match got over in just 14 overs [14.5] when Chris Lynn hit us to all parts of the ground,” Raina told iplt20.com.
“That loss hurt the team and me. I addressed the team and told them this is the game where we restart and go all guns blazing. The team was high on morale when we walked out on the field and the result is there to be seen. I have been getting good support from Brad Hodge and Mohammad Kaif who have been spreading a lot of positive vibes in the team. It was a great team effort,” Raina said
However, Lions’ chase of 188 on Friday was not an easy one.
Despite an aggressive start from openers Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum, the team was struggling at 122 for 5 in the 13th over before after Raina led the way with a 46-ball 84, which gave his side a four-wicket victory and helped him become India’s leading T20 run-getter.
Reflecting on his innings, Raina said that nearly a decade of watching and batting with former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had helped him pick up lessons on keeping the required rate in check as a captain, ESPNcricinfo reported.
“I love batting in pressure situations and it is a challenge I relish. I have batted with him [Dhoni] for almost ten years now and always admired how he would finish games for the side. I have learnt how to cut down on asking rates from 9 per over to a 7 per over from him. The middle overs in a T20 game are very important and you need to take calculated risks. It is something that I did tonight and have learnt over the years. I was hitting the ball really well and looked to be positive throughout my innings though wickets were falling at the other end,” he added.
“When you are a captain, you are there to win a game and set examples for your side. It is something that I have learnt from Dhoni while playing with him for India and Chennai Super Kings,” he added.
Gujarat Lions, who have now at the seventh spot in the points table, will now lock horns with Kings XI Punjab in their next clash at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.