New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings have been a dominant side in the IPL over the years and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo feels the reason for their success is that they have stuck to a core set of players without much chopping and changing.
Two-time champions CSK, who lost their previous game to laggards Delhi Daredevils, have won eight of their 13 matches to stay atop the points table so far. Bravo said the team has always been ready for challenges.
"The most important thing is that we don't chop and change the team. The management is doing a very good job, whether it's in the auctions or selecting a playing XI. They try and stick to a core of players. Therefore the camaraderie and the team unity is there and that's most important," Bravo told PTI at the sidelines of the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Development Company function, here today.
"If you are going to be a good team, you got to be a champion side. You got to beat whichever side you are up against. We definitely want to finish in the top two but let's see what happens in the play-offs. Top-four is very important for us," he added. Bagging 19 wickets in 12 innings, Purple Cap holder Bravo is leading the wicket-takers chart.
Crediting IPL for shaping the careers of many international Indian player, Bravo insists that the tournament is most certainly the route to international success.
"IPL is helping every cricketer, not only West Indies players. Even the Indian players are getting benefitted. It's because of IPL that Indian players are becoming the players they are today. Look at a Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, they have all grown with the success of IPL.
"They (players) face the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Dale Steyn and many such international fast bowlers. Because these players play them in IPL so much that it gives them the confidence of playing at the international level and become better players, he said.
Like any other CSK player, Bravo was all praise for his skipper and said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has the knack of bringing the best out of the players. "He (Dhoni) is very good. What you see on TV is what he is like. Off the field as well he is just like that. In the dressing room he is very relaxed and calm. Doesn't say much, allows players to express themselves and play their natural game. That's the quality of a leader, to command a team and allow you to be yourself," he said.
Compliment him about his fielding and the superb catches that he has taken this season, and the all-rounder credited it to South Africa's Jonty Rhodes. A three-year stint with Mumbai Indians is where Bravo learnt a thing or two about catching with fielding coach Rhodes.
"Jonty is a legend. He is one of the reasons why we enjoy fielding. He set the trend. I remember with Mumbai Indians I learnt something from Jonty that never goes out of my head. He said, 'whenever the ball goes up in the air, he (fielder) stays on the ground for the catch, you have to dive. If you don't dive it (the ball) wouldn't know'.
"Best thing is to make an effort, sometimes it sticks sometimes it doesn't. Lucky enough this season a lot of them are sticking."
Representing Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Bravo hopes the T20 tournament gets better but admits it is no competition to IPL.
"Two very good tournaments. I don't think there is any league in the world that can compete with IPL. It is the biggest league, it's always sold out, it's well put together, it's well organised and the fans here are amazing. So IPL is in a league of itself but CPL is a young league and the last three years have been very good. I am looking forward to play CPL after IPL," he said.
Not picked to represent the nation in the 50-over World Cup by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over a pay dispute, Bravo reiterates that he is always available for the country. "I am available to play for West Indies at any point of time. I can't say that 'look I am going to play', but not get selected. So they will have to select me first. As long as I am selected, I will play," he said.