IPL 2024: It's just a lot more comfortable batting at the top, says Rachin Ravindra on opening role for CSK

Rachin Ravindra has slowly emerged as a fan favourite of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) supporters, thanks to his eye-catchy strokes in the power-play,

Chennai, March 30 (IANS) Rachin Ravindra has slowly emerged as a fan favourite of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) supporters, thanks to his eye-catchy strokes in the power-play, coming at a strike rate of 237.14. The New Zealand all-rounder, who’s stepped into the role of an injured Devon Conway, said being an opener is just about being a lot more comfortable at the top and is close to unlocking his potential in that position.

“I guess so (about success as an opener). I think it’s just a lot more comfortable being at the top. But also, I guess during the World Cup, you get an opportunity, and you have a few innings, and you play a few shots. You’re like, okay, this is something I’ve worked on for a while and then, it sort of comes down in the game.”

“You are like, okay, this is maybe a part of my game, and you take that from me. I probably took a lot of confidence from that and was able to execute some shots that I’ve been training for a while that I hadn’t really used in a game before.”

“So, I guess a little bit of that, but I think it’s just more about getting time in the middle and getting the confidence to do that on the big stages,” said Ravindra to reporters in Chennai ahead of the team’s departure to Visakhapatnam for Sunday’s game against Delhi Capitals.

CSK roped in Ravindra at last year’s player auction for INR 1.8 crore, just weeks after he set the Men’s ODI World Cup on fire last year in India, scoring 578 runs in New Zealand’s run to the semifinals.

Asked about his mindset in IPL 2024, Ravindra said, “A lot of my T20 career, I haven’t always opened the batting or batted in the top three. I’ve kind of batted at No.6 or No.7, especially for New Zealand. So, it is a different role. It’s something I’m more used to though.” “At the top of the order, it is slightly different to New Zealand conditions, but I think it’s always hard to say because you don’t know about selection and stuff and 14 games is a long time. The tournament is a long tournament and for me, it is driving the team forward, try and contribute to as many wins as possible in little ways I can.”

“And if I’m having a good day, hopefully, I can make that a great day by batting on a little longer. But I think it’s just about trying to get better day by day and even in the nets, learning from the guys around me, learning from Flem (Stephen Fleming), (Michael) Hussey, all that stuff because that’s what’s going to be important. A lot of guys have great experience in the IPL and I’ve only played two games. So, just trying to learn from everyone will probably be the key,” he added.

Ravindra also felt CSK having a family-like environment off the field is an accurate picture. “It’s more from players being able to be comfortable, players knowing their roles and quite a relaxed environment which makes everyone feel a bit more chill and can get along a bit better and doesn’t feel like it’s a hierarchy because you can always have a nice conversation with Flem if you want to.”

“You can have a conversation with Hussey, you can have a conversation with MS Dhoni, you can have a conversation with Rutu (captain Ruturaj Gaikwad). It’s all pretty chill, which for me, helps me a lot means I can come in and just not try to be anyone else. I can just be myself in that environment and let it happen,” he concluded.

–IANS

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