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Dhoni’s consistent leadership is key to CSK’s success: Raina

Suresh Raina

Kolkata: Star left-hander Suresh Raina feels that Chennai Super Kings’ stupendous success as the most consistent team in the eight editions of Indian Premier League cricket tournament should be attributed to their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership skills.

“MS is the most consistent captains (in the game) that we have. That’s why we are in the final six times from eight appearances,” told a news conference at the team hotel on the eve of the final.

Mumbai Indians denied CSK a third title in the 2013 final at the same venue and the loss was still fresh in their mind, Raina said.

“When you’re taking on MI, you have to really play very good cricket. We still remember the loss against them in the 2103 final,” Raina said on a cautious note.

Stressing on the importance to enjoy the proceedings, CSK middle-order mainstay said that key to success would be to build a partnership on a slow Eden Gardens track.

“Wickets get slow after 10 overs so if you have partnership you can put on big totals with big players like Dhoni, Bravo down the order. It becomes difficult for other teams to chase down.”

With Harbhajan Singh back in his best, Raina said they would have to play watchful cricket early on.

“Eight to 12 we have to bat sensibly. They have good spin line-up in Harbhajan. It becomes difficult to come back if you get nervous. T20 format is very short and you don’t have plan B. We would look to play positive cricket. We’ve have to enjoy each and every ball,” one of India’s most experienced limited overs cricketer said.

Asked whether they have choked in atleast three finals as only twice they have emerged champions, Raina said: “Two teams play and one has to win. There will be pressure, you have to play on merit. If you get nervous you’re going to lose the battle.”

Raina lauded their bowling unit for making the difference.

“Our bowlers are doing well, executing their plans beautifully. Nehra has been exception, also Mohit Sharma, Ashwin, everyone is chipping in.”

Although Raina hasn’t had a great IPL by his standards, he is not really perturbed as long as CSK are on track to win the coveted trophy.

“We still reached the final. It’s not about the individual form. We still have one more game to. We have done really well in batting department.”

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