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I do not believe chopping and changing players in IPL, says Stephen Fleming

Comfortably perched at the top of the table, CSK have won 7 out of their 10 games.

By: Press Trust of India | Chennai |
May 7, 2015 11:50:13 pm

Notwithstanding Ravindra Jadeja’s poor showing in the IPL, Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has backed the all-rounder, saying he believes in giving chances to players rather than chopping and changing a winning combination.

Comfortably perched at the top of the table, CSK have won 7 out of their 10 games and Fleming insists that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side can carry the weight of non-performers as long as they are winning.

“Jadeja needs to get in to his form. He has skills and we value as to what he can contribute to the team. Players, who are out of form pick up and I do not believe chopping and changing players in IPL gives you an advantage, it could be destructive,” Fleming said in the pre-match presser at the eve of the Chepauk game, in Chennai on Friday.

“We try and give chances to players as far as possible to give major contributions. His skills in the field suggest that he is good and comes up with couple of run outs. So, at this point of time we will be working with the player rather than trying to chop and change,” he added.

On the question of Michael Hussey still sitting in the dug out, Fleming once again said that the think-tank is not keen on tinkering with a winning combination.

“We have got the best team at the moment to win games. We are not presumptuous to think we are in the semi-final already. We want to do one think at a time. As the tournament goes on it is difficult to field players who have not played because of match fitness. We are not going to compromise with the eleven that is winning the games to give chance to a player,” the former New Zealand captain said.

“It is not to say that Michael Hussey is not a match winning star but the rhythm in the team now is pretty safe. We will have to respect that we are just three games away to qualifying and qualifying is important and that is our main priority. When McCullum (Brendon) leaves home, it will be an opportunity for Hussey or any other player to claim his berth,” he added.

Suresh Raina (256 runs in 10 matches – 2 fifties) though has been the team’s key performer and Fleming opines the left-hander should carry on playing his natural game even at the business end of the tournament.

“Suresh Raina was excellent in the last game (52 off 46 balls). If he thinks he was guilty of being too aggressive, we need substance from him but on the other hand, we do not want to curb his natural instincts. Suresh is making lot of scores. We always value his major contributions,” said Fleming.

CSK off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has missed out on a few games and Fleming is still not sure about the injured players availability.

“We are not sure whether Ashwin will play. He has not bowled today (Thursday). We will take a decision tomorrow (Friday). The positive side is that the cut he suffered is not in the main knuckle,” he said.

Satisfied with the team’s top-order, Fleming is not willing to tamper with the batting order in the upcoming matches.

“We will be lucky if we send left handers up the order and we will be trying to manipulate the left handed batsmen to counter them. (Pawan) Negi as you have seen is a very good asset. Jadeja is also playing well but he is not quite sound at the moment. I think if we can use the skills of the player rather than the name of the player, it would serve us better. Baba Aprajith is an excellent player for us and his off spin bowling opportunity is there for him and we can use him to take some wickets.

“There are lot of roles that these players role are handy. We also feel that on a slow tough wicket that the last game was, it would be easier for the left handers to do the job against left arm bowlers,” said the former batsman.

“(Dwayne) Smith and (Brendon) McCullum have been good for us considering the high risk they take. They can win games but if it does not happen other players can do their role. When they are on song they win games like what they did against Mumbai Indians last month,” he added.

MI wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel admits that the team was outplayed by the two-time champions at Wankhede, but he opines that ‘tomorrow is another day’.

“Ofcourse they are a formidable unit at home, but it’s a fresh game as far as we are concerned. We are preparing well and not too worried about opposition,” Parthiv said.

After a faulty start, the Rohit Sharma-led turned their fortunes and are now on a four-game winning streak. Parthiv just wants the team to carry on the momentum.

“We are getting a good run at the moment. We have been getting good steady starts in the game. Sometimes it clicks, else it doesn’t. Also having a settled order helps in the long run in the tournament.

“We have different approaches for different teams and it has worked well for us in the last few games, so there is no reason for us to change our approach,” he said.

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