CSK coach Fleming counts on ‘experience’ in the camp

Chennai Super Kings played just one match in Chennai last year and Fleming said understanding the nature of the wicket would take some time.

Relying on experience — the coach's secret of success — Fleming said the focus for Chennai Super Kings this year is on the replicating the methods that had helped the team to emerge victorious last year.   -  AFP

 

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming is always calm and composed. He did well to retain the core of CSK’s team, well capable of defending the coveted Indian Premier League title. A part of the franchise since its inception — first as a player and then coach — Fleming knows what it takes to win the title and is keen on passing the methods to an able bunch of cricketers.

Relying on experience — the coach's secret of success — Fleming said the focus for Chennai Super Kings this year is on the replicating the methods that had helped the team to emerge victorious last year. “Experience counts in our camp. We bought, as many of them said last year, an old side. But we prefer to look at it as an experienced side. Being able to stand up to pressure situations and recall how you dealt with them in the past is a key component in a fast-moving game. Our players are still very skilful and that experience counts. I value that a lot. The methods in which you win or compete are very important if you can keep repeating them,” he said on the eve of CSK’s first match against RCB at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

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CSK played just one match in Chennai last year and Fleming said understanding the nature of the wicket would take some time. “Traditionally there is a bit of turn here. It looks dry. Even though it is a home game, it takes a little bit of time to understand the home conditions,” he said.

The Kiwi said the team was happy to get that home advantage back. “It’s important, there is a real emphasis on starting the tournament well. Last year we won a game that could have easily gone the other way. It did a lot for the team. We know the importance of a good start. There is no extra pressure on this game, You want to start the tournament well and get into the rhythm of playing well,” he explained.

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While losing Lungi Ngidi was a big blow for CSK, the coach said no potential replacement has been identified. “Ngidi is a big loss. Last year, he was the find for us, he bowled well. We were looking forward to having him for the majority of the tournament. We’ve got a squad that can cover his absence but some players are valuable. The onus goes on to the other overseas options. We are taking our time on his replacement,” he added.

The coach lauded the wrist spinners and said the current crop of spinners are a smart lot. “Wrist spinners have got clever as well. They play a role where the batsman must be aggressive and take a risk. Before T20, you could take your time with wrist spin, now you’ve got to be aggressive. With the ball going both ways, they can spell your downfall. So, they’re effective and can attack both outside edges of the bat or getting caught on the boundary or deceived through the air. These are their major weapons. So, they’ve got very smart with it and I don’t see it changing quickly,” he said.