Super Kings to go all out - McCullum
Chennai Super Kings have deviated from their usual method of controlled accelaration with the addition of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith at the top of the order for the 2014 season.
"Our strategy as a team is to go all-out for 20 overs and given we have so many attacking batsmen, we can afford to go with that mindset," McCullum told iplt20.com, "This line-up is filled with power-hitters. If Smith and I get out, there is Raina, Faf, Dhoni, Bravo - they just keep coming. And if any of those guys bat for long, they will score big."
The change was evident in their tournament opener against Kings XI Punjab when McCullum and Smith set up Super Kings' highest powerplay score in IPL - 70 for 0 - although it was in a losing cause.
McCullum's purchase also makes it four international captains in the side but the hierarchy is quite clear. "At CSK there is only one captain and that is MS Dhoni," he said. "However, as experienced leaders, we are expected to do small things off the field like guiding the younger players and helping out the team-mates with things they need assistance with"
Ashwin conscious of fielding errors
R Ashwin stated that Chennai Super Kings, were not too perturbed by the loss to Kings XI Punjab in their opening game, but identified a key area for improvement ahead of their second match against Delhi Daredevils.
"We dropped a couple of catches and that's one aspect we need to fix very soon," Ashwin said, referring to the reprieves that Glenn Maxwell was given in the first game.
Ashwin also expressed confidence that Super Kings could shrug off the bad start and acquire momentum as the tournament progressed.
"This is not the first time that we have lost the first match of the tournament," Ashwin said. "We generally start off slowly and then catch up momentum going into the tournament. So, there is nothing to worry about."
Samson builds on U-19 experience
Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson said the experience of paying the Under-19 World Cup in the UAE had helped him adjust faster to the pitches and conditions of the IPL. Samson was India's leading run-getter in the World Cup, finishing with 267 runs in six games at 44.5 with three fifties.
"I played many matches here in the UAE in under-19 tournaments. I played the Asia Cup and World Cup here and knew the wickets well," he told iplt20.com. "That experience really helped me to be in good touch ahead of the IPL."
Samson's 52 off 34 balls helped Royals set Kings XI Punjab a target of 196 to win and the wicketkeeper-batsman said he had set himself a target of finishing games for the side.
"This year, I want to finish more games for the Rajasthan Royals. I want to play according to my game plan. I have been successful in doing that so far," he said.
Bailey calls for better bowling and fielding
Glenn Maxwell and David Miller helped Kings XI Punjab prevail in yet another high-scoring chase, this time against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. The pair struck fifties with Maxwell scoring 89 off 45 balls and Miller bludgeoning 51 off 19 balls, as Kings XI chased down a 192-run target with eight balls and six wickets to spare.
While Kings XI captain George Bailey described the win as "awesome", he also cautioned against an over-reliance on the side's big-hitting middle order.
"We will take a lot of confidence from the win. Having said that, we've relied on two extraordinary innings from the same two guys," Bailey said after the match. "Long may they keep that up, but realistically, it's not going to happen every time. We also have to bowl better and field better so that we are not putting ourselves in positions where we have to chase these scores. "