Following Chennai Super Kings' unexpected loss to Pune Warriors, batsman S Badrinath has admitted to the team having issues with their opening combination. Apart from the match against Kings XI Punjab, in which Super Kings cruised to a 10-wicket win, their openers have failed to lay the required platform, Badrinath said.
"The openers are not able to get us to the required start. In that one game against KXIP, the openers just saw us through. Apart from that, this is an issue that needs to be addressed," Badrinath told the IPL website. "Faf [du Plessis] was brilliant for us last season at the top of the order. Opening is such a key role in Twenty20 cricket. In the first six overs the fielders are inside and you need to capitalise on that. That start takes on the momentum to the middle order and further in the innings."
In their first three matches Super Kings opened with Michael Hussey and M Vijay, and apart from the game against Kings XI, the pair put on stands of 10 and 4 in two overs each. Against Pune Warriors, Hussey was left out to accommodate allrounder Albie Morkel, and Vijay opened with S Anirudha, who was out for a second-ball duck. South Africa's du Plessis, who was successful when given the chance to open in 2012, is out with injury.
The idea behind leaving Hussey out, Badrinath said, was to improve the team balance: "It was something to do with the combination. We wanted Anirudha to get quick runs at the top, and to get Albie in to add some firepower in the batting and another bowling option. It was very unfortunate that Anirudha got out off the second ball."
Badrinath, however, still backed his batsmen to come good. "Let's be honest: we haven't been able to get great starts and we've lost too many wickets at the top order. That's something that needs to be addressed," he said. "However, these batsmen have done it for us before and we need to have faith in them."