Bengaluru, April 20: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said on Saturday that the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who missed the last game with a back spasm, has had some impact on the team considering his form and stature. Fleming interacted with reporters at the M Chinnaswamy stadium ahead of Chennai's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday (April 21).
On Dhoni and Bravo: Both of them will be training tonight, so we will see how they scrub up at the end of the training.
Too reliant on Dhoni to win: He is a great player. Whenever a great player isn’t in your side, it means there is a hole to fill, and he has been in great form. So, it does have an impact on your side, as well as the captaincy. You get used to a certain style of play and when you lose arguably your best player and your captain, you have to make adjustments but it doesn’t mean that we are not competitive. We still turned out a very good side in the last game and still got well beaten. It doesn’t matter what team we turn out, we have just got to compete and be better than we were in the last game.
On the success of veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir: I think he's been a little bit more conservative with his options (this year). At times, He's been guilty of hunting wickets, which means he bowls a different style. This year he's been very consistent and he's been very clear on what he wants to do planwise and he's been our chief wickettaker so we still want him to still be be positive. But the way in which he has done it, within the camp please us a lot. His discipline and ability to deliver what we want has been outstanding.
On the Bengaluru pitch: It's obviously overcast and a little bit damp around, so you need to wait 24 hours, it's going to change a lot in nature. I think it will be a good track, possibly a high-scoring game which is what we expect. So pressure on bowlers but also batters as well. But we'll read it tomorrow and make an assessment tomorrow and be clear on how we want to play. You can't assume it is going to be 200 vs 200.
On CSK having a consistent group of players and support staff: We value it realy highly. So experience and continuity are the two key words that come through for us. We like to give players an extended run, because we think the way form is measured in T20 is a lot different to other forms. A lot of analysis is done with the longer form in mind, whereas we tend to look at short form quite separately. And we tend to give guys more chances, because we're asking them to play a high-risk game. So it is unfair to look at form after two or three innings. That is why we tend to stay conservative, at least batting-wise. We also accept that it is very difficult bowling wise on some of these grounds. We cut the players a little bit more slack, which is why our selection policy is a lot more conservative than the others, but what we do try and do is get the right team for whatever conditions we face, and that's a challenge when you're away.
“We're a little bit more settled at home, which is how it should be. But when we travel away we set to work hard on making sure we get the balance between any particular seam bowlers and spinners. Spinners keep working for us but we've got seam bowlers that can do the job for us. That's the simplistic way we look at selecting sides and we're pretty conservative with the emphasis on cohesion.”