Chennai Super Kings opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad on May 6 said his team does not have any problem playing on any strip at the M A Chidambaram stadium because of the home advantage.
CSK beat Mumbai Indians by six wickets in a crucial IPL match at Chepauk, hitting the required runs in 17.4 overs after restricting the opposition to just 139 for 8.
Asked if this was the kind of pitch CSK would like to play, Gaikwad said, “It does suit our strength but the pitch is, I would say, slightly out of our control with the weather being slightly gloomy, rainy. Obviously it’s tough for the curator to make what we want.
“Even the two games we lost here, they were almost close games, not much of a difference, just one or two hits away. We would like to play on any surface given because of the home advantage,” he told reporters after the match.
On the areas his side need to improve, Gaikwad said the win over MI was due to a “complete team performance.” “Everyone contributed. The bowlers from the beginning were on the mark and the fielders too did a good job,” added Gaikwad who hit 30 from 16 deliveries.
On pacer Matheesha Pathirana, the slinger from Sri Lanka, who bowled brilliantly to stifle the MI batters, Gaikwad said, “Thankfully he is our team.”
“In the nets, I’ve faced only 10-12 balls and I was like ‘I don’t want to face him’ because obviously he is tough to pick and tough to judge the length of the ball.
“First thing is you’re finding where it is coming from and second thing is judging the length and judging the line, so you’re always slightly late when facing him and thankfully he is in our team,” Gaikwad added.
Asked about the work that goes behind the scenes in CSK and the development of players, he said, “Behind the scenes, work starts right from the pre-season camp. Not many international cricketers join because of their international duties, so the domestic players are available to join and the work starts from there.
“Everyone gets an opportunity to express themselves, to discuss with various coaches and the skipper. It does help a lot as a player when there are few people around who feed a lot of confidence and positivity in you.” Meanwhile, MI batter Nehal Wadhera, who scored his maiden IPL fifty, said his team was probably short by 15-20 runs.
“While we were batting, it was difficult to hit the pacers because the ball was not coming onto the bat properly. With the new ball, Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande were bowling to me, they bowled two slower balls which did not come properly. So I knew I had to take proper time in order to build the innings.
“We fell short by 15-20 runs. Maybe then the game would have been different,” he said.
On facing Pathirana, Wadhera said, “He was bowling quite well. This was the first time I was facing him, obviously he is kind of an unorthodox bowler, he bowls from a different angle which is quite similar to (Sri Lankan legend Lasith) Malinga.
“You know that there aren’t such bowlers you face every day, it was kind of different. I think from the next match whenever he comes to bowl to me I would have better plans,” the left-handed batter added.
“This is the first time I’m facing a bowler who bowls from such a wide angle. It was kind of difficult to pick. Early on he bowled one bouncer to me, I couldn’t see the ball properly because when he bowled, the angle was even lower (from where I expected). After I faced one or two balls I was fine.”