Chennai Super Kings and their "powerful and intelligent" openers
Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have given Chennai Super Kings a solid start repeatedly in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. While batting force defines T20 cricket, the two have shown an intelligent approach can help too.
Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have given Chennai Super Kings a flying start in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League with their explosive partnership at the top of batting order and the New Zealander described his opening partner a "powerful" and "intelligent" cricketer.
"There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but I have certainly enjoyed my partnership with Dwayne Smith, 'The Doctor'. It is great to bat with him because he is so powerful and has a lot of options in his batting," McCullum said. (Also read: How CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad)
"He is a very intelligent cricketer as well. We seem to have a good rapport and get a good partnership going. It is nice to be able to contribute, and personally too I am enjoying my time with CSK so far."
Smith scored three fifties in five matches and McCullum hit two half-centuries to currently lie at the second and third position in the most runs list respectively.
Asked if they form the most explosive pair, McCullum said: "So far we have done well. We may not be the most explosive pair, but in terms of how we have been playing, we have managed to give our team a good start in most games.
"We are pretty lucky that both of us hit the ball and hit it in different areas. I saw a comment from our captain, MS Dhoni, earlier in the week when he said that Smith and I don't compete against each other but we complement each other, which is nice to have in an opening partnership.
"We also have so much power to follow that we both have the confidence to play positively," he was quoted as saying by the official website of IPL.
In the past editions, it was the opening pair of Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay, which served Chennai well and McCullum feels it will be tough to replace them.
"Michael Hussey did outstandingly well for the Chennai all these years and those are tough shoes to fill for the two of us at the moment. Hussey has served this franchise incredibly well and now we have this opportunity to do the same. We have started well and there is still long way to go.
"The captain and the coach have complemented our abilities to play our games. They don't want us to be too aggressive, but just play the style of cricket, which has got us to where we are in world cricket at the moment," McCullum said.
"It is always nice to get a leadership team like that to give the confidence to go out and play. What we have seen are reasonably aggressive starts from us, which are in character with how we are as players.
"We are not trying to be what we are not; we are just trying to play our natural game and be as good as we can at the top."
With their UAE leg over, Chennai will next play against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 2 in Ranchi and McCullum hoped that his side can continue their winning run.
"It has been a good time here. We have played some good cricket, and if we had been given four out of five wins for this part of the tournament before the start of the competition, we would have been pretty happy," he said.
"We have played well and gelled quite nicely as a team with a couple of new changes with me coming into the unit too. Hopefully, we continue that form when we get to India.
"It will be fun to be back in India and play at Chennai. I have played there against Chennai Super Kings a few times and it will be nice now that I am playing with them. I am sure we will get good support there as well. If we keep playing good cricket, it will certainly help," he added.