Stephen Fleming at the press conference in IPL 2023© BCCI
Chennai Super Kings may struggle to capitalise on the home advantage during the IPL qualifiers as they are still “not sure” of the conditions at the Chepauk, head coach Stephen Fleming said. CSK became the second team to qualify for the playoffs after they registered a thumping 77-run win over Delhi Capitals here on Saturday. The four-time champions are likely to finish in the top two. The top four teams will head to Chennai next to play Qualifier 1 and the Eliminator.
“We are still not too sure about our conditions in Chennai, other years we were pretty sure but it’s changed a little bit this year,” Fleming said at the post match conference.
After the loss against Kolkata Knight Riders, skipper MS Dhoni had also said that they were not able to assess the conditions at Chepauk.
The Yellow Brigade have a penchant of bouncing back after dismal seasons and Fleming feels it is due to the work that goes behind the scene.
“Each year is different. In the COVID year we felt we have a couple of things wrong but we finished really well. Last year, we felt we would be struggling, it just about getting work done a year before, not just giving it up.
“Trying to give guys opportunities, finding pieces of the puzzle, to help us bounce back.” He cited the example of pacer Tushar Deshpande, who has emerged as CSK’s highest wicket-taker this season.
“Deshpande is good example, with injury and opportunity he has developed into a quality player. It goes back to the auction table as well and the kind of squad we build.” New Zealander Devon Conway once again played a sensational knock (87 off 52) and was adjudged the player of the match.
“He has been consistent and he gets runs, he doesn’t alway look flamboyant but is ability to get runs and do the job is high class,” the head coach said.
Fleming also said Deepak Chahar’s form would be vital going into the knockout stages.
“He’s now got some confidence in his body, he bowled very well today and he still getting back to how good he can be.
“The spell today was smart. Even in the last games he wasn’t at his best but picked three wickets. If you have a bit of a golden arm with 2-3 games to go it is important he continues the form.” After a disappointing season, Delhi Capitals assistant coach Praveen Amre said they struggled with the Kotla pitch.
“We ourselves are not able to predict what sort of wicket it will be. Home advantage is that you now it’s a 150 or 200 wicket. Today we felt it was a 180 wicket. Credit to their batters.” Delhi’s Indian core comprising the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan failed to deceive.
“We gave opportunities to whatever available talent we had but none of them unfortunately could make a mark. Only two batters got man of the match in 14 games.
“David and Axar batted well, that is a positive but we have to go back to the drawing board.”
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