For Suresh Raina, Wednesday night was special. He was the centre of attraction at the post-match presser after Chennai Super Kings humbled defending champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets to enter the Qualifier 2 in Indian Premier League 7 at the Brabourne Stadium.
The southpaw celebrated his return to India's ODI team with an unbeaten 33-ball 54, hours after selectors appointed him captain for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.
Raina said he is happy with both the news – his comeback and CSK making it to the next round — giving credit to his teammates.
"I think it was really good. God has been really kind. We bowled really well — Nehra, Ishwar, Ashwin, Jadeja … I thought we would be chasing 200. In between we got wickets. The bowlers set the tone for us. Then we had two very good partnerships," he told the media.
Raina has been one of the profilic scorers in IPL. He tops the list of most runs in the league scoring 3238 in 114 games with a century and 22 half centuries. The Uttar Pradesh batsman revealed it was due to the company of some big players in CSK that he has improved as a batsman. "In batting you have to keep improving your shots and execute really well. At the same time you need to back your strengths. Over the years I've learned a lot from Mike Hussey, Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming … playing with them over seven years has helped. And then there's MS. When you have players like this in your team, you tend to learn a lot.
Raina also praised his team and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for leading the side well. "The important thing is that we have handled pressure really well, over the last seven years. When you know you have a captain like Dhoni and a coach like Fleming, it helps. Whoever handles pressure well in T20 wins battles."