Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming conceded to experiencing off-field “distractions” going into the IPL 7 season because of the controversies surrounding the team but hoped that his side would settle down once the tournament begins on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot going on, I won’t lie. There are a lot of distractions (leading up to the tournament). I think we were all uncertain about how it was going to play out,” Fleming said at a press conference.
“We were desperate to get back into the fold of the team. It has only been six years but a lot has happened. It’s nice to get back into a team environment, where you’re somewhat cocooned, and get a bit more info. All we can do is try and be consistent again but yes, it (controversy) is there, we acknowledge it.”
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Fleming said getting together as a team could act as a balm for the players’ nerves. “Getting back into the team environment is the most important thing. We’ll touch on the controversies (in team talks), if we think it’s an issue. But I think most players are pretty relieved to be back and playing together.”
Speaking about the changes in the team this season, Fleming said, “I think there are some pretty powerful additions to the side. Some new tools to play around with this season. There has been a shift in that we’ve lost a great player in Michael Hussey, but we’ve gone for some power players that on their day can win games. We’ve learnt a lot in the last six years.
“The players we’ve picked have quality and experience, these guys have done it before. Smith, in particular, has done it before for Mumbai. McCullum’s the same — he didn’t have much of a go at KKR, but we’re looking to get him an opportunity.