After scoring just three runs in the first three over, the hosts managed to rack up 179 — an above-par total for the track to set up a 80-run win.
“We batted well, we kept wickets in our hands and MS (Dhoni) and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) finished the innings really well. When you are playing in Chennai you need to put up extra on the board,” Raina said after the comprehensive win on Wednesday.
Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and put CSK in and rued the decision about not batting first on the slow track.
“It was blessing for us to lose the toss. The wicket was a bit difficult while batting second. I think game was set up for us by the sixth over and it was important to have wickets in hand,” Raina, who now has 306 runs in this season after 13 games, said.
The Uttar Pradesh southpaw also defended Shane Watson, who has had a roller-coaster season as compared to last year. Wednesday night was yet another failure for the veteran Australian all-rounder, who has only scored 251 runs including a top-score of 96.
“Playing in Chennai you need to have a lot of character, especially in terms of fitness. You need to be physically and mentally fit and need to keep rotating the strike. In Pune last season, the weather was good. Most of our players are over 35 and weather has played a key role for us this year. Good thing is that we have bowled really well through the season,” Raina said about the likes of Watson who is 37 years of age.
But age hasn’t slowed down Dhoni, who scored a match-turning 44 off 22 balls and pulled off two quick-silver stumpings off Ravindra Jadeja in over.
“Dhoni has been amazing behind the stumps. It shows how compact he is, I still remember in 2004 when I was with him in Indian team and Syed Kirmani was really happy with his skills. When he is pulling off such fast stumpings it shows that he knows which ball is turning how much from middle or leg stumps. That’s why his glove work is so quick,” he said about the CSK skipper’s wonderful glovework.
Raina, who had to lead the side in the absence of Dhoni, was pleased by the return of the former India captain.
“I have done well for Gujarat Lions and couple of games when I have led for India as well. Losing Dhoni as captain is not an issue but losing him as a batsman is more challenging.
“When he comes to bat in late, he creates a lot of pressure on the opposition. My batting in the games I was captain was not good. But probably you might see me more as a captain next year when MS Dhoni says I have had enough. I would still need more of his calibre in my side,” Raina said.
First Published: May 2, 2019, 11:01 AM IST