Super Kings ready for Mumbai Indians challengeSeptember 23rd, 2011 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Sep 23 (IANS) For Chennai Super Kings, it has been all about getting together and reconnecting with familiar faces while preparing for their opening Champions League T20 game against Mumbai Indians here Saturday night.
Michael Hussey, fresh from a highly successful Test series in Sri Lanka, and who is expected to again play a lead role as opening batsman for the Chennai Super Kings, has had little time to acclimatise, but the professional that he is, the Australian seem to be enjoying the moment.
“We enjoyed getting together. It is only for a short period of time in a whole year. We played some great cricket. I really enjoyed the entertainment with the fans here. India is just a great place to come to because of the cricket fanatics and pretty much guys in our team are fanatics,” he said at a media conference here Friday.
Coach Stephen Fleming who was also present, echoed the sentiments and said it was not much of an issue that players have been assembling in batches.
“It is the same as the guys have been. Today, we had very good sessions. As the group got together, it is nice to welcome the players into the group. The most important thing is that a number of players are wanting to practice a lot and back themselves,” said Fleming.
Over the past few seasons, Hussey has become hugely popular with the Super Kings fans and one of the key reasons has been his partnership with Murali Vijay with the pair being rated as among the best openers in the competition.
“I think we complement each other having known each other quite well. We are probably still quite new as a opening duo but getting better as opening partnership. We get along very well off the field,” said Hussey.
In fact, batting has become the mainstay of the Super Kings, with Hussey and Vijay consistently providing good starts by putting the Powerplay to good use.
“I think it is important for us to assess the conditions quickly, see how the pitch is playing and figure out what is going to a good score and play accordingly. Obviously, if the pitch is very good, we must take advantage,” said Hussey.
Fleming said the Super Kings were in a tough group while pointing out that New South Wales Blues presented a huge challenge.
“We are in a strong pool. We are playing Mumbai in our first match tomorrow. On paper, I find New South Wales a pretty formidable line up and picking a playing eleven is a challenge for them. They are good.
“The good thing is that most of teams are good on paper and in the last Champions League, we were looking for Victoria and the sides. You must remember that how good we are is based on how we perform better than the team on paper,” he said.
Regarding the playing line-up and the pitch conditions, Fleming said he would be watching the first game Saturday, between Blues and Cape Cobras very closely before deciding on the combination.
“It is going to be a new pitch out there. If any changes that we are going to make, we need to make our assessments fast and then adapt. So, I am asking the players to be very smart to be ready for similar conditions to what we played in the last few years.
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Tags: batches, batsman, champions league, cricket fanatics, familiar faces, indians, key reasons, kings fans, lead role, little time, mainstay, mumbai, powerplay, saturday night, sentiments, short period, stephen fleming, t20, test series, vijay