Chennai: The ability to adapt to conditions and improving as the Champions League T20 tournament progressed were the key to success for the New South Wales Blues and their 46-run win against the Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday, according to skipper Simon Katich.
The win showcased the team's abilities, he added.
The 2009 champions, Blues made 201 for two in 20 overs on the back of opener David Warner's unbeaten 135 off 69 balls, and then dismissed the Super Kings for 155 en route to the semi-finals.
Katich downplayed the expectations of the Blues reaching their second final in the competition, and said that the total of 200-plus was not pre-planned or even aimed for.
"As the tournament progressed we did adapt to the conditions quite well. We had no preconceived notions of a target. We didn't know what exactly a safe score on the wicket was."
"In that perspective, Warner's innings was special. To get to 200, and to win it like that really showed our capabilities," he said at the post-match press conference.
On his part, Warner disclosed that having studied the Super Kings wicket-takers, they targeted off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who, according to the opener, would have dominated had he been allowed to.
"We knew he was one of their wicket takers, so as much he thinks he needs to get on top of us, so do we. So we wanted to unsettle him, and the reverse shots unsettled him."
"After my first hit, he started dragging the ball shot. He didn't know how to react after my second shot. This was a thing we had planned earlier, and it worked out," said Warner, who was also adjudged man-of-the-match.
Batting against Doug Bollinger, the Super Kings new-ball bowler and also a New South Wales player, who had opted for the Chennai outfit, was a motivation in itself, said Warner.
"We have two class openers who treated the ball on its merit. But it does play in the back of our minds to come good and win the battle against one of our own mates, in as much as the same way he might have thought as well," Warner said.
The big win notwithstanding, Katich opined that his team's fielding needed to improve if they hope to make further progress in the competition.
"We didn't field as well as we had against Mumbai Indians. We dropped a few catches and there were few misses on the field. But once we can raise it, we can well be an unbeatable team in the tournament," he said.
Katich singled out the youngsters in his team for special praise and said he was happy at the progress shown by the rookie players.
"We know what to expect from experienced guys like Moises (Henriques) and Stuart Clark, but the younger lot has stepped up their performances. Pat (Cummins) has really come into international terms, and Mitchell (Starc) too has improved with every match. Steve (O'Keefe) too has utilised the opportunity. The young bowlers have led the way for us," he said.