Mohali: Having pulled off two convincing wins in the Champions League Twenty20 Qualifiers, Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson said on Wednesday that the team had come here with a lot of belief and "flew under the radar" to surprise a couple of teams.
"We came here with a lot of belief and a side that had prepared very very well both here in India prior to the tournament and also in Sri Lanka. And quietly we just flew under the radar and I think we surprised a couple of teams," Johnson told reporters at the post-match conference.
Volts registered a convincing six-wicket victory over Kandurata Maroons here on Wednesday.
Chasing 155 for victory, allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate struck 32-ball 64 and also impressed with the ball, taking two wickets.
In their first qualifier played yesterday, the Brendon McCullum-led side thrashed Faisalabad Wolves from Pakistan by eight wickets.
"You can see the class that he is out there tonight, both with ball and bat. Even if we hadn't got him tonight, we would probably have waited to hopefully qualify and use him in the main tournament," he said about Doeschate who played his first game after his arrival here.
On their run-chase, Johnson said their primary target was to see off mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and his batsmen played him out well.
"When (spinner Ajantha) Mendis came on he sort of tied us down for a while and it was a matter of whether we got busy and worked with him or sort of get through him and I think the guys out there played him very well. He is a class bowler but I think once we saw him through, we had confidence against the other guys in the attack to get the 155 that we needed," he said.
About the pace battery in his team, the coach said: "A lot of our side is based around our seam attack. In all forms of cricket, we try and play four aggressive seamers and I believe in Twenty20 cricket if we get some poles up front and bowl heavy and hard and you hit the stick early on, it is very difficult for the batters to get them away.
"We have got (Ian) Butler, Neesham, McMillan and Wagner - they bowled very very well through the whole tournament and leading up to the tournament."
He also backed his team's spin attack, which has come in for a stick in the two matches they have played.
"Look, the spinners have gone for a couple in the last two games. But Nathan (McCullum) has come on at a difficult time, times when we have either got wickets or tonight when we reduced them to 4-5 an over. Nathan has been under the cosh a little bit every time he has come on but I still rate him as a world-class bowler and back him all the way," he said.
Johnson said that they will have to tackle spin better in order to further advance in the tournament.
"Obviously we have got one more game here in Mohali and then we travel. When the wickets start turning, we need to play spin just a little better. And we are wary of that and we have been working very hard on that," he said.
On the IPL teams featuring in the League, the coach said, "I am pleased that the IPL teams are favourites because as I said, we are just flying under the radar a little bit at the moment. We are respectful of all opposition and we know that we are up against it. In horse racing terms, we are going whoosh at the moment. And we have got to make sure that we don't break up."