After his teams 23-run loss to Mumbai Indians on Sunday night,coach Stephen Fleming maintained that Chennai Super Kings werent losing the edge but were outplayed on the day. He admitted that off-the-field issues also had a bearing on the teams performance in the final. Excerpts…
On being outplayed
We discussed that (spot-fixing) yesterday. How much affect it had on them in the final,each player would have to answer that. I acknowledged in my statement yesterday that it had been a tough week. We were hoping that our performance (in the final) would reflect the pride and the nature of the side. But it was not to be. We were outplayed. So a disappointing end to what was a good tournament for us. We played well,we probably had the most consistent tournament. We just came out short (in the final).
On off-field distractions
We are a very calculated side usually,but its really been a very difficult last week. Off the field,we were to experience something we had not been used to. But certainly it (our campaign) was disrupted. We had a pretty good IPL. It was trouble free till the last week. There was an element of consistency in a topsy-turvy tournament. We love winning but we are also pretty humble in defeat.
On Malinga factor
Malingas was an outstanding spell. He took the new ball after a long time. We just had to get through that spell. He had Michael Hussey probably with the best ball of the IPL. He (Hussey) has been so good for us this year.
On the chase
Chasing that many,with Hussey 60 not out,we would have won the game easily. (Mitchell) Johnson followed it up as well. Three quick wickets and the shot selection after that was pretty poor.
On CSK batsmen
Certainly it was not a nice situation. The strength of our side is that we have a long batting order. With Dhoni coming down to finish the game,it gives confidence to the top order. It was just a case of putting our innings together but we lost our composure with (Dwayne) Bravo and (Ravindra) Jadejas dismissals. Even with (Albie) Morkel and Dhoni we had a chance but they (Mumbai) just kept picking up wickets. We tried to stay composed with the depth in our batting order. We tried to minimise damage and change the momentum. We did not play good shots today. We succumbed to pressure. Surely,we should have chased down (149),but we did not come close. Dhoni batted really well but were never going to win the game with eight down and chasing that many.
On Mumbai Indians
Mumbai were always going to be tough. They have had great games this year,their bowling attack was outstanding and responded under pressure. Probably it was a par score but they came out winning.
On next seasons auction
If you chop and change too much,its hard to come next year with a completely different team. You would have Dhoni playing somewhere else,Raina somewhere else. Then,youre asking too much for the Indian cricket fans. If you can keep a core group of four,five or six intact its better. No point in spending time with young Indians if theyre going to be traded somewhere else. Maybe a transfer window would be a bit more conducive. I would like to retain. It enables people to identify their stars. The style of play is easier from coaching point of view.