'We have slight edge over Mumbai'

The stylish right-hander, a classicist as opposed to a brutal destroyer of bowling attacks, provides the balance and grace in the middle-order, equally capable of working the ball around or coming up with the big strokes.

Badrinath was part of the Super Kings squad that lost the final of the inaugural IPL to the Rajasthan Royals, but he termed Sunday’s imminent final against the Mumbai Indians as a huge day for himself and his team.

“For us, there can’t be a bigger day than tomorrow’s final,” Badrinath told newsmen after optional nets on Saturday afternoon, skipped by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “We are all looking forward to it. We may have a slight edge, having played a final earlier, while Mumbai hasn’t been in the final before. But we also have to play good cricket on the day.”

At the same time, the right-hander said his team knew the odds were stacked against them. “It is their home town and obviously they will have crowd support. We are prepared for that. They have a strong side which shows in the way they have played in the tournament so far. Their combination is working. We have also played good cricket. So there is no reason why we shouldn’t fancy our chances.”

Reflecting on the final in 2008 and the journey since, he noted, “I don’t think a lot of things have changed. The core players are still the same. It is just that we are better experienced in this format now. That was the first IPL season; after that, many more matches have been played. Everyone knows each other’s game. There is lot of strategy and thinking going on these days just because of the experience in the T20 format.”

The Super Kings haven’t been the most consistent team in the competition. “It has been up and down for us in the league phase,” Badrinath conceded. “We have had highs and lows. But we are evenly matched. At end of the day, we have made it to the finals. We have played some good cricket to get ourselves here. Now, it all comes down to the big day. We have form on our side and hopefully we will take it through tomorrow.”

Badrinath was wholesome in his praise of the odd-couple new-ball combination of left-arm quick Doug Bollinger and right-arm off-spinner R Ashwin. “They have been tremendous, especially Ashwin being a spinner. He is delivering the goods and these two have been doing good in the Power Plays.”

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