Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has tipped Suresh Raina as one of the best number 3 batsman in T20 cricket.
Hussey himself was the part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise during his Indian Premier League (IPL) career and has played alongside Raina. However, he also hailed the captain of the side MS Dhoni for being calm under high-pressure situations along with the likes of Matthew Hayden, Dwayne Bravo among others while picking his all-time of CSK.
Fondly referred to as Mr. Cricket, Hussey is the third highest run-getter for CSK at the end of the opening decade of the IPL with 1768 runs, only behind topper Suresh Raina (3699) and MS Dhoni (2987).
Here are few words by Hussey for the players of his team:
“Vijay – A fantastic opening batsman who often scored big in the big games, he was especially brutal against off-spinners.
Hayden – It was a close call with Brendon McCullum but ‘Big Dos’ was an intimidating figure at the top of the order and was always very damaging in the first six overs.
Raina – What a player he has been for CSK, so aggressive yet so consistent. No 3 can be a difficult position to bat in T20 but Suresh is one of the best in the world in that position.
Dhoni – Captain Cool always calmly chased down a target and was brutal on the bowling at the back end of an innings. While Dhoni was at the crease we were always favourites to win the game.
Bravo – His competitiveness and all-round ability is so valuable to CSK. Tough place to bat and he always bowled at the pressure times of games. He relished the challenges and came out on top more often than not.
Morkel – Very handy all-rounder, bowling with the new ball was his strength as he swung the ball and always seemed to pick up wickets. Power-hitter at the end of the innings, he had the ability to clear the ropes when it mattered.
Jadeja – A fantastic all-rounder and arguably the best fielder in India. He was worth 10 runs a game from his fielding alone.
Ashwin – A very smart bowler, he used his variations extremely well and always wanted the ball in tough situations or when the game was on the line.
Muralitharan – The master! Great bowler, great bloke – it was an honour to have him in the team. Murali should be called Mr Cricket as he really does know everything about the game.
Sharma – Calm, cool and collected under pressure, he executed his skills very well, especially the slower ball out of the back of the hand which collected him many wickets. Dhoni often trusted ‘Mo’ to do the job at the death.
Bollinger – Had a huge impact when he joined the team. Doug was our enforcer with the new ball and he always seemed to get wickets with the new ball which was extremely important. The crowd loved him too, all screaming in unison B-O-L-L-I-N-G-E-R.”
Here is the CSK XI as picked by Michael Hussey
Matthew Hayden, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mohit Sharma, Doug Bollinger