Skipper delighted with Raina's progress

“I don’t predict much in cricket,” the Indian skipper said after leading the Chennai Super Kings to the IPL III title. “What is important, as I have always maintained, is to prepare well, turn up on the field, handle the pressure and execute the plans. If we can do that and adapt to the conditions, then we are a difficult side to beat. More often, instead of us losing, I would prefer if the opponents beat us. In this format, you can be beaten sometimes even though you are the stronger side. All I will say is we have a good side and most of the players are fit. We hope to give our best and accept whatever the result is.”

Dhoni refused to compare the IPL victory to India’s triumph in the inaugural World T20. “There is a lot of difference,” he remarked. “With the World Cup squad, we have more talented resources, we have the 15 best Indian players in the T20 format.  In IPL, we have four foreign players in the eleven and at least eight to ten in the squad. It is a tricky situation but if your domestic players perform well, it really turns the tables in your favour.”

Suresh Raina is expected to be one of the key men for Dhoni’s Indians in the West Indies. “Raina batted really well in the tournament,” Dhoni acknowledged. “He just take the opponents on and he has started to finish games. It is not just about reaching 30 or 40 anymore. He looks to play his shots but he also looks bat on. If it is not in his area, he gives respect to the bowler. In this format, you have to take a bit of risk and he has done that really well. And whenever it was needed to rotate the strike, he did that well also.”
Dhoni was happy that the pool from which to select Indian T20 players had expanded. “Rayudu coming back from ICL did very well, so did Saurabh Tiwary and Harmeet Singh. At the end of the day, T20 is very  different from 50-over or the Test game. You have to careful not to get carried away,” he cautioned.

“But it is a very good platform to see how youngsters react under pressure and how much talent they have.”

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