Fleming: 'Scrappy season with the bat, but no lack of effort'

With an aging team, Fleming knows that a lot of replacements could be in the offing and the core group of CSK, which has been its strength, could change soon.

MS Dhoni's run-out shifted the momentum in Mumbai's favour.   -  IPL

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming was undoubtedly dejected.

After guiding his team to a second final in as many years, it was disappointing to see his team end up on the losing side.

The CSK coach lauded Lasith Malinga for keeping his cool in the last over. With nine needed off six balls, Malinga just conceded seven as Mumbai triumphed by one run.

“You have to put it down to Malinga there. He just nailed it in the last over. He went for a lot of runs in the over before and he changed tactics and delivered under pressure. So that is really what it came down to. It was that close. We’ll look back and I am sure there are a lot of things that we could have done better and what they could have done too. There were some dropped catches from both the teams but it is a fitting end to a final. I just wish we were on the other side,” Fleming said.

"We do understand that we are an aging team. So, at some point we just have to look at recreating the side, obviously with MS (Dhoni) as well. He travels through the World Cup, and into next year so that's important." — Stephen Fleming

 

The coach was overall happy with the way the final scripted out. “The game ebbed and flowed from ball one. MI got off to a good start and we came back very well. Our bowling, like it has done all thoughout the season, hung really tough and we restricted them to what we thought was a good score. We had a good start too, an aggressive one. We just lost our way and it took a pretty good performance from Shane Watson to keep us in the game. This is what we want from a final. We want the opposition to be down to one or two balls here and there and that is what happened,” he added.

READ | Dhoni: Both teams made mistakes, but Mumbai made one less

Reflecting on the season, Fleming said the batsmen had a bad season when compared to the bowlers. “It was a scrappy season with the bat but there was no lack of effort from the batsmen. To get to the final without having an unbelievably good batting is testament to the character the CSK batsmen have showed. It was a tough season for our batsmen,” he opined.

With an aging team, Fleming knows that a lot of replacements could be in the offing and the core group of CSK, which has been its strength, could change soon. “It is time for the dust to settle down and I think when you have won a league (in 2018) and lost by one run it's been a pretty good two years but we do understand that we are an aging team. So, at some point we just have to look at recreating the side, obviously with MS (Dhoni) as well. He travels through the World Cup, and into next year so that's important.

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“The other thing to consider is that a lot of the talent is already established in other teams, so you just got to be a little bit careful that you get the balance right when you look at areas you want to improve and the players you think that can do that. It will take a bit of time to go over and review the season and again it's a successful season, even though, we feel pretty flat,” he explained.