Millennium Post

Hilfenhaus made the difference: Hussey

While heaping praise on Ben Hilfenhaus whose spell of 3 for 14 spearheaded Chennai Super Kings' victory over Delhi Daredevils here on Saturday, fellow-Aussie Michael Hussey said his team still needed to win two more games to reach the play-offs in the Indian Premier League.

Super Kings posted a nine-wicket win over the Daredevils who were restricted to 114 for 5 before the hosts cantered to 115 for one in just 15.2 overs with opener Murali Vijay (48 not out) being the top scorer.

Hussey, who opened with Vijay and scored 38 while putting on a 75 run partnership, said the inclusion of Hilfenhaus has made a huge impact on the Super Kings given his propensity to strike early and that the fast bowler was riding high on confidence following his recent performances.

'I think Ben is confident at the moment. He has been playing very well for Australia during the Australian summer and the West Indies tour. He is bowling with a lot of discipline and maintains a very good line and length and a good mind set too.'

'I think any player whose confidence is still high is going to set the best performance in match situations. We are fortunate that Ben's confident is so high now. We do not have much to tell him. He did not get affected by bad performances too much at all,' said Hussey.

When pointed out that the Super Kings are in an all-too-familiar situation of having to win their concluding league games to get into the play-offs, Hussey said the onus was on the players to carry forward the momentum in the remaining two games, in Kolkata and Dharamsala.

'Well we cannot be thinking about the final as yet. We have two more matches to go in the league phase and need to win them, but we have experience in playing these types of matches and winning under pressure.'

'We have done well in clutch situations in the previous years too. Changing team characteristics during clutch situations and performing well has been there. We have two more clutch matches and we need to continue the momentum.'

'We got to continue our form and obviously the next game in Kolkata is very tough. Kolkata have been playing well and they know the home conditions well. It is going to be another huge pressure match.'

'The mood was very good in the dressing room tonight. We won a good match particularly on the efforts of our fast bowlers who made a huge difference. The feeling is good and we need to take the momentum in winning every game. It is tough, but we will be putting in our best in the next two matches,' said Hussey.

Looking ahead, Hussey opined that with Hilfenhaus performing, the team selectors would be in a quandary in picking four foreign players, but he backed the fast bowler to get the nod.

'I am not sure. I do not know what the selectors are going to decide. (Francois) du Plessis has been doing well this season but he has been down, so sat out in the last two games. He might come back as well, but certainly Ben Hilfenhaus addition is a big plus.'

'He has been able to get those early wickets and he has given fantastic starts putting the opposition under pressure. Certainly, he is plus with the team,' Hussey asserted.

The Aussie star had a good word for Vijay too, saying the opener, not in the best of form this season, was very focused against the Daredevils.

'I was watching him playing at the nets and found to be batting quite well. His timing is good, but sometimes in 20-20, you get down a little bit but you need to keep going. The moment you relax and keep positives in your mind you keep the momentum going with little bit of luck.

'I had talked to him on the positives and I think two out of the last three matches, he has performed and batted very well against Mumbai and also played some vintage Vijay shots too. So, it was fantastic to watch. I could see that he was so focused that he took the responsibility on him and stayed at the wicket until we won the match today and it was a great knock,' Hussey gushed.

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