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Can go all the way - Badrinath: Chennai Super Kings batsman S Badrinath, who made 47 in the win over Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, said his team was confident of beating Delhi Daredevils in the second qualifier on Friday and making the final. "We didn't have a good game against them [Daredevils] in Delhi, but in Chennai, we beat them fair and square. The team has got back the momentum that was needed and we are confident of pulling this off," Badrinath told Times of India. Badrinath said that captain MS Dhoni's whirlwind knock of 51 that helped set up Super Kings' win had played a big role in helping to restore the confidence of the team. "When Dhoni plays like that, you are always on pole position … now the belief is there that we can go all the way."
Will reassess batting order - Sekar: Delhi Daredevils team mentor TA Sekar is confident his batsmen will come good against Chennai Super Kings in their qualifier on Friday. Daredevils managed 144 chasing 163 in the first qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday and only Mahela Jayawardene managed to get past 30. "Last three overs of the last match did not go in our favour," Sekar said. "Our batting order needs to be assessed and we have done that. In Twenty20 games, it is not a major concern for us since we have a very strong batting line up." Daredevils have faced some criticism for frequently changing their battle order with the likes of Ross Taylor being held back but Sekar defended the decisions."In Twenty20, batting order changes frequently. It is not the set order like in Test matches. So, we need to change and in fact every team does it depending on the situations and its demands."
Gambhir earns praise: Kolkata Knight Riders became the first team to enter the IPL final, after they beat Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday and their captain Gautam Gambhir has earned praise from former India cricketers for his leadership. "When he captains, he is more determined. Responsibility makes him a better cricketer. He has big-match temperament," former Indian opener Chetan Chauhan told the Times of India. "He can fight it out, stay on at the crease. If he gets set, it's tough to get him out." Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper said that while MS Dhoni was the "best bet" as India captain, "Gambhir is good too; he has been an inspiration for his team and whoever is playing for Knight Riders will tell you that." Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine was all praise for his captain. "I am grateful to Gambhir for showing confidence in my ability. Under him, the team has reached the final for the first time and we hope to continue our good work," he said.
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Assistant editor (Audio) Having a father who played in the Ranji Trophy against the likes of the legendary Pankaj Roy, cricket was in Akhila's blood. When a bachelor's degree in Literature was augmented by a master's in Mass Communication, she should have known that a career in journalism beckoned. But it took a joyless stint in public relations to push her to ESPN Star Sports, where she worked with the Sportscenter team and covered countless preparatory camps at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. As a happy coincidence this ran concurrently with a hobby stint as a radio jockey for a station playing old Hindi film music. She then joined ESPNcricinfo's audio team, where she has worked since October 2006.