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IPL 2020: Chennai coach Fleming opens up about Dhoni batting down the order

Bengaluru, Sept 24: One win and one loss to begin the season for three time champions Chennai Super Kings. Up next for the MS Dhoni-led team are the Delhi Capitals.

Ahead of their third match of the season, Chennai coach Stephen Fleming opened up on the much talked-about batting position of Dhoni.

Dhoni has faced criticism for batting down the order in the first two games. Talking about the decision, Fleming told the CSK website, “MS is one of the players that hasn’t played much cricket in the last year-and-a-half. Everyone expects MS to come out and do what he has done in the past. It doesn’t just happen, it takes a bit of work and a part of his process of getting up to speed is his game time and that (match against Rajasthan Royals) was really the first time that he’d batted in the middle apart from a couple of balls against Mumbai Indians.

“As the tournament goes on, he’ll just get better and better. To come in and expect him to get a 30-ball 70 would be a tough ask and we’ve other players also who are in good form and can do a job. So, it’s valuing what each player can do and also respecting Dhoni is one of a kind when he’s in form and has been playing,” said Fleming.

Talking about the Chennai team’s mixed start to the season, the coach said, “One of the biggest challenges is to find the right combinations and also give the guys some match play, keeping in mind we’ve got a number of players who haven’t played for 12 months. We are working hard on a number of fronts, one is to get the right team for the conditions which we’ve been unsure about, and also to get the guys up to speed with their playing form.

“You can do as much practice and training as you like, but it doesn’t completely replicate what happens in the middle. So, it was always going to be an interesting start for us. I think we’ll take one from one with a lot of areas to improve,” added the coach.

The coach also provided an update on in-form Ambati Rayudu, who had to sit out the second game due to injury. Fleming told the CSK website, “Rayudu is our in-form player and to lose him at that time (against RR) was disappointing. Hopefully it’s only a couple of games. We’ve got a six-day break after this (Friday’s match against DC), and we are hoping that he’ll be back for the game on Oct 2 (against Sunrisers Hyderabad).”

Fleming also added that Dwayne Bravo could be available for selection for Friday’s game against Delhi, “Bravo is progressing very well, and if he has a couple of good days of training, he could come into selection consideration for the next game. That would be a good headache for us to have as we’re looking to introduce players and also get our best combination for the rest of the tournament.

“You don’t necessarily pick your final-winning side in the first two or three games, but as soon as you can settle and get some cohesion into the team you are better off for, and that’s what we are working towards now, giving new players opportunity and then settle,” signed off the Chennai coach.

(With inputs from CSK website)

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Story first published: Thursday, September 24, 2020, 21:09 [IST]
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