'Balaji has been an asset for us'
Though Balaji is no stranger to int'l cricket, his comeback after a layoff has been really remarkable, writes Mahendra Singh Dhoni.cricket Updated: Jul 08, 2008 13:46 IST
It's good to be back to winning ways, with two wins from our last two games. I don't believe in anything like momentum when it comes to Twenty20 cricket, because as we have seen in this tournament, you win some and lose some.
<b1>At this stage of the tournament, the tussle for the semifinals has got intense. Bangalore and Hyderabad are out of the reckoning, but that does not mean their results will not have an impact on the semifinals anymore.
In fact, they are even more dangerous now because they have nothing to lose, and could spoil the party for those who are hopeful of making it to the last four.
Hyderabad had a very strong batting line-up, and even though their bowling was their weak link, the hard-hitting abilities of the batsmen more than compensated for it. Unfortunately, they did not win at regular intervals and the pressure got to the players.
On the other hand, we were able to break the chain of losses quickly, and for that I would like to mention the role played by our franchisee. They knew that winning and losing are part of the game, and they were more interested in the effort than in the result. There was no pressure, subtle or obvious exerted on us, and we were allowed to play our natural game.
As far as our performance is concerned it's great to see local talent doing their bit for the team. L Balaji is no stranger to international cricket, but his comeback after a layoff has been remarkable.
We are not really worried about his injury, but we were concerned that he might not be match fit because he had not played cricket for quite a long time. However, he has proved to be an asset, a bowler who is economical and who has a well-disguised slower ball.
I am also impressed with Subramanian Badrinath who has contributed in almost every game. He is a very intense cricketer, who is involved in all aspects of the game and who knows his role in the side and what he has to do.
I am also pleased with my own performance. I know scoring a century is difficult for me, but my role is to play the role of a finisher and it's satisfying that I have made quality runs rather than a large quantity of runs. As far as captaincy is concerned, I get the credit, but the team actually has been a great one to lead.
We are in Mumbai at present, and I am actually missing Chennai! We have made Dublin, the nightclub in our Chennai hotel into our hub.
Irrespective of the results, we party there. Hopefully, we will be celebrating a win when we get back to Chennai.