While Chennai are sitting pretty in third position in the 10-team Indian Premier League standings, Michael Hussey is well aware that their quest for a semi-final berth is not yet complete.
The Super Kings head into Saturday’s clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders brimming with confidence after four straight victories and a win over Kolkata will see them rise to the top of the log alongside Mumbai.
Australian recruit Hussey, however, refused to jump the gun and admitted that, compared to playing at home in Chepauk, playing at Eden Gardens at the weekend will be an entirely tougher challenge.
“I wouldn’t say we are guaranteed a semi-final spot yet. We have got to get a few more wins before we can even get to that stage,” insisted the veteran left-hander.
“It’s a pretty close and tight competition and we’ve got a pretty tough run, actually. “We’re away for the game against the Knight Riders and then face Rajasthan in Jaipur.
“We have to continue to play a good brand of cricket and, hopefully, get enough wins to get into the semi-finals and final.”
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, meanwhile, has lauded the leadership of Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir, whose move from Delhi to Kolkata has brought a revival through the franchise’s ranks.
Perennial underachievers across the first three editions of the Twenty20 tournament, the Knight Riders have risen to table-topping proportions this year under Gambhir’s form and guidance.
Gavaskar is looking forward to more of the triumphant same from Gambhir and company across the duration of the tourney, starting with the weekend’s showdown against defending champions Chennai.
“The skipper Gautam Gambhir has made a huge difference. Here is a player of great determination, who refuses to take a backward step and whose hunger for wins is rubbing off on his team-mates,” Gavaskar wrote in his sify.com blog.
“The manner in which he has used the lesser known players shows the leader in him.” Cricket365