Fleming: 'We lost wickets at key moments'

Rising Pune Supergiant coach Stephen Fleming says that it lost wickets at key moments and that kept Mumbai Indians in the game as Rohit Sharma and Co. bagged their third IPL title.

Stephen-Fleming, New Zealand, Virat Kohli

Fleming said he was pleased with the contribution made by relatively low-profile players such as Jaydev Unadkat and Manoj Tiwary.   -  K Bhagya Prakash

Rising Pune Supergiant coach Stephen Fleming says that it lost wickets at key moments and that kept Mumbai Indians in the game as Rohit Sharma and Co. bagged their third IPL title.

Speaking to media after the final, at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday night, Fleming rued he loss of Ben Stokes.

“We were playing an extra bowler and we were a little mindful of that. The best way was a couple of partnerships and gain momentum. We saw Smith and [Ajinkya] Rahane come close to that. Steve came so close to winning it in the last over. Could have been a different story. But, that was the nature of the game,” the Pune coach pointed out.

“It was quite a touch wicket to score on. We knew their bowling attack was topclass. We lost wickets at key times. They just hung in and created enough pressure to get across the line. But, again, it was a great final, full of pressure, mistakes and great performances too. It was a grand finish to a good finish to a good competition,” Fleming said.

Reflecting on the bowling performance, the former New Zealand captain felt his side bowled and went about the job very well. “We were calculated in the field. Some of the outs were very pleasing in terms of field positioning and tactics we used,” he said.

“Batting wise, it was always going to be a grind. There was no other way they could have approached the chase. If you lose three for 20, then it’s game on. It is always going to take s a partnership to get close but we just could not get the one or two overs when we were close to putting the game away,” Fleming said about the slow start when the chase was on

Commenting on the wicket, Fleming remarked that the wicket was two-paced and both the teams struggled to play aggressive game. “It was a tough track to score, but the bowling on both sides was outstanding. They have some good pace bowlers who did a great job, especially in the last four or five overs," he said.

Fleming said he was pleased with the contribution made by relatively low-profile players such as Jaydev Unadkat and Manoj Tiwary. “"I don't think we are the most skilled side in the IPL. What we have had is players stand up from nowhere. We take real pride in that," he said.

"We have created an environment where some players have been able to excel. Jaydev has been extraordinary again today, so has been Rahul Tripathi and Tiwary. Big stars have stepped up at key times as well. Ben Stokes was fantastic for us,” the Pune coach observed.

"Steve was the captain this year and MS Dhoni has slotted in to the role of a senior player very easily. He is a proud man but he is humble man. We saw the interaction between the two and other leaders, Faf du Plessis as well. So, leadership was never going to be a weakness for us. It was a case for making sure all our leaders were contributing in the right areas,” Fleming said about the experience of being around with Dhoni. 

  Dugout videos