CSK captain MS Dhoni. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming has said that there was intense discussion over who should go out to bat after the fall of Ruturaj Gaikwad’s wicket against Delhi Capitals (DC). Fleming revealed that captain MS Dhoni decided to go in, and he backed the CSK’s leader’s instinct.
CSK defeated DC by four wickets in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai on Sunday. Chasing 173, Chennai lost the well-set Gaikwad (70) at the start of the 19th over. Needing 24 from 11, Dhoni walked out to bat, and smashed an unbeaten 18 off six balls to put CSK in their ninth IPL final.
At a post-match interaction, Fleming revealed that there was plenty of chat right throughout CSK’s innings, including on Dhoni’s decision to go in ahead of Jadeja.
“There was a lot of chat. We spoke more in those 20 overs than we have for a long time. There was a lot of technical discussion and maneuvering to try and work out how this was going to unfold. When the captain got looked in his eyes, he said ‘I’ll go’; it’s been well-documented the times that he has done that. Today was one of those. I ain’t holding him back, and we saw the result of that,” Fleming said while giving the details of the CSK dugout interaction.
Asked for his views on Dhoni’s match-winning cameo, Fleming revealed that it was an emotional as well as an important innings for CSK.
“It was emotionally great for us. We wish him every time he goes out. We know the pressure he has and the expectation there is on him. Again, he came up trumps for us. It was emotional in many ways, and was very important. And the captain had the opportunity to do that for us,” the CSK coach elaborated.
Before Dhoni’s blitz at the end, Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa (63 off 44) laid the foundation of the chase for CSK with a 110-run stand for the second wicket.
“He may come out at No. 5 in the final” – CSK coach opens up on Jadeja’s role
Ravindra Jadeja hugs MS Dhoni after CSK’s win. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Even as Dhoni did a great finishing job on Sunday against DC, many experts are of the view that CSK are wasting Ravindra Jadeja’s batting talent down the order.
Fleming, though, doesn’t agree with that view. He explained that they are not looking at getting the best out of particular individuals, but are more concerned about what works best for CSK in a given situation.
“He (Jadeja) is real class. He may come out at No. 5 in the final. We know how good he is. But we are also trying to utilise our other resources well. There is this discussion about Dhoni all the time. If you want to have it about Jadeja, it is the same thing. His finishing ability at the moment is first-class, and we have got other players who are very good through the middle,” Fleming said in praise of Jadeja.
Speaking about the CSK all-rounder, he added:
“Instead of concentrating on one player, you have to keep looking at the package. There’s no doubt that going forward Jadeja is going to play a key role, probably up the order a bit more. At the moment, his form and the way he is training is world class.”
Jadeja came into bat at No. 8 in the qualifier against DC. He did not have to face a ball, as Dhoni hit three fours in the last over to seal the deal for CSK.