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Suresh Raina, who recently overtook Adam Gilchrist as the leading scorer in all IPL matches, has credited his Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni for his current form.

"I have been hitting the ball well after having a good season. The confidence comes from the faith my skipper Dhoni has in me," Raina told the Times of India. "He has given me the freedom and authority to play my own game. All he says is play your game and keep it simple. That trust, that backing has brought out the best in me.

"When I walk in to bat, I asses the situation and play accordingly. Like anyone else, I am also a huge admirer of Sachin Tendulkar and try to learn from him. That is one big reason why I stick to playing proper cricketing shots. One has to understand that its just not possible to smash every ball out of the park. You can score runs at a good rate playing normal cricketing shots which is what I try to do."

This season Raina has again been in great form with the bat, scoring 463 runs at 42.09 and a strike-rate of 140.72 which places him at fourth highest for 2010. He also attributed this success to "a positive attitude and a clear mind" as well as senior team-mates in the Chennai camp. "When you spend time with quality players like Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey it adds to your wisdom," he said. "It is a great learning curve. I have had the good fortune of receiving the full support of all the senior players.

"In Twenty20 cricket, your shot-selection has to be precise. You cannot afford to be double-minded. The clarity of thought is important. I bat at No. 3 and that is a very crucial position. I make sure that my body language is good and I like to dominate the bowling with controlled aggression. As a senior pro, my job is to stay there till the end and win matches for my team. That is what the aim is and that is what I try to do to the best of my ability."

Raina also holds the record for most catches, 26, for a non-wicketkeeper, and his athleticism in the field has earned him many plaudits. "Fielding is a very important aspect of the game. A run saved is a run scored. It is all the more important in T20 where good fielding and catching can make a huge difference," said Raina. "To be a good fielder you got to be swift and agile. You've got to have a good presence of mind if you are fielding in the deep. Again one has to enjoy fielding if you really want to excel in this department.

"I was lucky to have Robin Singh as my coach when I went to England as a 17-year old and he helped me to take my fielding seriously. He told me that fielding is as important as batting or bowling. Even if you fail with the bat and ball, you can still contribute with a good work in the field. It can also serve as grace marks when there is a tie between two equally good batsmen."

Chennai will compete their second IPL final, against the form team of the season at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai today and Raina termed it a great opportunity. "We tripped in the first edition. We are all eager and excited. We will have to play really well if we are to win our first IPL title."

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