Injury-ridden Billings made way for Faf, admits Fleming

Poor form and an injury to Sam Billings meant du Plessis was presented with an opportunity in Tuesday's Qualifier, according to Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming.

Stephen Fleming addresses the media after Chennai Super Kings booked its berth in the IPL final.   -  Sportzpics/IPL

Faf du Plessis has not been a regular in the Chennai Super Kings' first-choice eleven in the Indian Premier League's season.

Coach Stephen Fleming admitted that poor form and an injury to Sam Billings meant du Plessis was presented with an opportunity in Tuesday's Qualifier; he made the most of it while anchoring the Super Kings' chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

“Sam has struggled a little bit but he got hurt in the last game. He fell awkwardly on his hip, which has been quite bruised. He could have played with a push but he was uncomfortable so we took that opportunity to keep Faf in the side. He played the last game. It does change the set-up with [Ambati] Rayudu going back to No. 4 but that's not a bad thing either,” Fleming said after Chennai Super Kings pulled off another heist to book a place in the final.

‘Credit to Faf’

Sunrisers captain Williamson complimented du Plessis but put the blame on a mediocre batting display for his team's loss.

“Credit to the way Faf played, he batted beautifully but we could have taken some better options to be able to add maybe another 15 or 20 on that surface. We could have taken a few smarter options to get a few more runs on the board but the way we fought back with the ball — it's obviously a tough pill to swallow because we back our death bowling to see us through but today it wasn't to be.”

While Chennai Super Kings will stay back in Mumbai for Sunday's final, Sunrisers will travel to Kolkata for Friday's eliminator.