Chennai: His side emerged winner in the thrilling opening match of the IPL season-4 but Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the contest had a lot to offer even in defeat.
Chennai edged past Kolkata by two runs to start their IPL title defence on a high note on Friday. "It was a first game with a new team, and you get a new car and you want to break it in, but you don't want to 'break it'. Even if we did not win this game, we would have got a lot out of it," Dhoni said after the match.
Dhoni, who also led India to World Cup triumph last week, lauded all his bowlers for their effort apart from giving his fielders a pat on their back.
Dhoni also said that he was not worried even when Kolkata were going great at one stage. "The fielding was very good. Tim bowled well, Randiv and Raina did well, and Ashwin as always was brilliant. When they had around 70 after the first 7-8 overs, people may have thought the game was over, but I said this is when it begins since the pitch will slow up," he said.
Asked about the final ball of the match which was to be bowled by Tim Southee and Kolkata needed a four to win, Dhoni said he was sure a yorker on the leg side would win them the match.
"For the last ball, I was confused since it was like having two options - yorker outside off, or yorker at the legs. I decided on the latter, since with the field we had, a boundary would have been possible only if he played a great shot through midwicket. And it came off," he said.
Man-of-the-match Srikkanth Anirudha, who scored 64 off 55 balls, said he could have got more runs. "I got a chance to open after a long time and I liked it. I did not bat like my dad (Krish Srikkanth), I took my time to get in and play my shots. We thought 160 was a good total and we eventually got there.
"Initially I was trying to pace myself, and later I was trying to hit it too hard. Could have paced myself better and got 10-15 more runs," he said.
Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir, said the target was very much in their reach. "We tried our best, 150 was a par score and we should have chased it. But this is what T20 is all about, you set a platform, but things can change. It is a long tournament, long way to go," he said.
Gambhir also defended his decision to come down the order to bat when the match had almost slipped out of their hands. "Holding myself back was just one of those strategies we tried, but it did not work. We can take a lot of confidence from this game, our attack will only get better when Lee and Shakib come," he said.