IPL 2018: CSK coach Stephen Fleming expresses disappointment over venue shift

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) staged a phenomenal comeback in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 11 by winning their first two matches against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in thrilling finishes. ()

While the opening match was in Mumbai, the second was played at their home ground Chepauk in Chennai. However, the last match at Chepauk against Kolkata Knight Riders turned out to be first and last in Chennai, as the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings home matches were shifted to Pune owing to security concerns.

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Chennai Super Kings coach and former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said their strategy has been hit as the team was selected keeping in mind the home conditions in Chennai. Speaking ahead of their tie against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali, Fleming said, “We are extremely delighted to have won both are games. The performances have been of great character. Although, the finishes have been tight but such performances turn out to be valuable at the start of the tournament. We sat at auctions to pick a team based on the conditions in Chennai and we are disappointed that we only got one home game. And that was going to be a big part of our strategy this year but we will have to adjust.”

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Chennai Super Kings was out of IPL for last two seasons and MS Dhoni led the Pune franchise with Fleming as coach of the side. Taking note of prior knowledge about the venue in Pune, Fleming said, “There is experience of being at Pune for last two years so there are positives. Whether the Pune pitch is same we will have to wait and see. We know characteristics of the ground. It cannot replace Chepauk. We will have to speak to the guys and get them used to the ground as soon as possible, also we have players like Imran Tahir and Deepak Chahar, who have played in Pune,” he said.

Suresh Raina won’t be playing against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday due to an injury.

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Praising Raina, Fleming said, “We cannot replace him he is best batsman in the IPL and highest run scorer for us. We just find ways to minimise the loss. We have good players in the setup like Dhruv Shorey, Ambati Rayudu and Murali Vijay, who is backed by international experience. It’s an opportunity for someone else but you would like to see a player like Raina back into the team as soon as possible and make most of his presence,” he said.

Fleming asserted on using the services of Dhruv Shorey and Murali Vijay in Raina’s absence. “Vijay and Shorey are more adapt to batting up the order. So, even if it’s for a couple of games we might change and then go back once Raina is back. We will reshuffle the batting order and decide on the match day,” said Fleming.