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CSK coach Stephen Fleming disappointed with IPL authorities

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming expresses his disappointment with Indian Premier League authorities.

Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming: “We are very disappointed not to play in Chennai.”

Chennai Super Kings’ head coach Stephen Fleming has expressed his disappointment on the decision made by the Indian Premier League authorities to shift the venue of all the home matches from the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk.

“We are very disappointed not to play in Chennai,” he said in the post-match press conference yesterday. I say this on behalf of the team, announce our disappointment that we can’t go back. We enjoy amazing support all around India and around the world. But we were looking forward to giving back to the Chepauk. We were devastated as we were really looking forward to those games.”

Chennai were scheduled to play Bangalore on May 18, followed by their tie against Hyderabad on May 22 at Chepauk, however, owing to a dispute between the construction of three stands and a gymnasium in the stadium, the matches have now been shifted to Ranchi, the home of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“Though Ranchi has been home away from home and we have played there beautifully, there was an element of returning back to the Chennai faithful. We won’t be able to do that this year. We will carry that with us and hopefully put up a couple of good performances at Ranchi and move on. But as I said the team is sad not to be going back to our fan base,” he added.

A half century from Dwayne Smith helped Super Kings to a four-wicket win against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede, their first win at Mumbai’s home in two years.

“It was a really blue collar day,” Fleming talks about the match. “We had to really work hard with the ball and with the bat. We knew it was round about a par score. We kept the momentum going, did not get bogged down. I prefer both sides’ performances rather than an easy one if we are lucky.”

“I love his [Dwayne Smith] power. Power is the key for top order batting. The [Brendon] McCullums and [Suresh] Rainas are very efficient. They provide very good foils. If Smith gets on top of the bowler with 3-4 sixes an over, we don’t worry about dot balls. The other players don’t get flustered and do what they know. Power would catch up.”

“We are a pretty powerful side. Sometimes it’s hard to be efficient. Today they tried to manoeuvre Harbhajan [Singh] and worked very hard. If you don’t have power you get stranded. What we tried to do is to provide power game with some smarts around it. We know we are not yet a complete package but are certainly working hard towards that sort of ability. Some days it’s going to come off, some days it’s not. I am particularly proud of today’s performance,” he added.

Talking about skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former New Zealand captain said, “He has got wonderful skills to finish the game Look at his composure! That stands out more than anything else. He just backs himself to get 10, probably 15, may be even 20 runs in that last over and he just paces himself and gives confidence to the guys at the other end.”

“His composure under intense pressure when the game is on the line is something we really treasure as a side, and it’s just not a one or two off, he does it not once but regularly for all sides he plays for. It’s a gift. We are very grateful we had that sort of finishing power along with the smarts.”

“A B De Villiers [South Africa] probably fits in that category as well. But Dhoni has consistently done it for so long and for all teams. He stands out. [Michael] Bevan was a craftsman. Dhoni has got the power aspect as well that puts him ahead.”

“It could have gone either way today, but you just got the feeling the way he played [Lasith] Malinga he was gearing up to win it off [Kieron] Pollard. Both teams had luck along the way. The game fluctuated nicely and Mumbai are not easy to beat at home. They had won ten in a row. We knew they were not going to give that up easy. We were just smart,” he concluded.

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