First IPL game full of anxiety and nerves, says CSK coach Stephen Fleming | Cricket News – Times of India

CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings‘ preparations for the IPL-13 was marred by the coronavirus infecting pacer Deepak Chahar and middle-order batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad. It resulted in an extra week of quarantine for MS Dhoni & Co., meaning less time for practice, while the other teams sweated it out. To add to their woes, seasoned campaigners Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulled out too.
Check IPL 2020 League Stage Schedule
But CSK coach Stephen Fleming, on the eve of their IPL opener against Mumbai Indians, says the squad has taken the setbacks in its stride. With the average age of the squad being 31, the former New Zealand captain feels the extra few days’ break has been a blessing for CSK’s ‘Dad’s Army’. “We didn’t get off to a great start but we dealt with it very well. We were calm in our approach. In hindsight, the amount of pre-season training that we’ve done up to now, and the extra few days in the room, was probably a blessing. The break can work for the experienced and older players we have,” the Kiwi said.

In the IPL opener on Saturday, CSK will face a stern test against Mumbai Indians. Having lost the 2019 final to MI by just 1 run, Fleming said the match will help gauge CSK’s preparations for the tournament. “The first game is always full of anxiety, nerves and excitement and CSK-MI game has added pressure. But we enjoy that. MI are a good side and give you a good gauge as to how the pre-season has gone and the areas that need improvement,” he said.
For CSK, Raina’s exit has robbed them of a left-hander at the top of the order while off-spinner Harbhajan’s absence will mean that they won’t have a quality finger spinner in the squad which could prove crucial in the Powerplay overs. The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Gaikwad and M Vijay are all right-handers and it will be interesting to see whether MS Dhoni sends Ravindra Jadeja up the order.

Fleming, though, didn’t talk about team composition and hoped that the side’s experienced players can adapt to the pitch and conditions quickly.
“We are relying on our experienced players who can identify key moments, absorb pressure and turn games. This season will be different tactically. With no home advantage, we’ve to be good at adapting to conditions. We’ve got three different grounds with its own character and we’ve to pick the right team and game plan. But I must admit, going to Abu Dhabi without seeing the wicket is going to be one of the challenges to start with. It’s like every game is an away game,” he said.
‘Dhoni fresh and ready to go’:
MS Dhoni will take the field for the first time on Saturday after over a year during which he announced his international retirement. CSK coach Stephen Fleming said the 39-year-old is raring to go. “Dhoni’s preparations have been no different. He’s very fit and mentally he’s been very engaged and determined. MS is fresh and ready to go,” he said.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *