Suresh Raina has not scored big runs as yet this season for Chennai Super Kings but he feels he is in the right mindset, and has acquired a better understanding of his role in the team. After their 24-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he said he was enjoying his batting more now than he did in the past.
"I have made runs in the last seven seasons and I am very proud of those performances, but I am enjoying my batting this season more than before. I may be scoring 20-30 runs but my frame of mind is very good this year," Raina told iplt20.com. "I have been getting out playing proper cricketing shots and the ball is often going straight to the fielders. But I feel really good about my batting. I have been batting instinctively over the last 10 years, but now as No. 3, I have to be calculative about when and who to attack. Although the runs against my name are less, I have a better comprehension of my role."Raina has made 256 runs at an average of 28.44, and a strike rate of 124.27, with two half-centuries in 10 matches. He said Dwayne Bravo's run-out of Virat Kohli, coupled with the side's fielding performance, turned the game around against Royal Challengers when they required 52 off 37 balls.
"When Virat Kohli was batting, I was a bit worried," Raina said. "I knew we had to get him out quickly because he is a master at chasing scores. The run-out that Bravo pulled off was brilliant. In such extreme conditions in Chennai, sometimes your focus wavers. But to have that kind of awareness and then act briskly is something special. Besides playing against each other, the two teams are up against the heat as well.
"In T20s, one stop or one catch has a lot of impact. It changes the mindset of the batsman, he feels like everything he hits is going to the fielders, which forces the batsman to take risks."Raina said he felt responsible for his team being unable to efficiently close out innings with the bat this season. "I wasn't scoring runs which put pressure on the middle order. If the top order gives them a platform of 140 in 15 overs, these guys can score 70 in the last five overs."