Chennai Super Kings are enjoying a successful comeback season in the Indian Premier League, 2018. Flourishing under the leadership of MS Dhoni, they have qualified for the playoffs with two matches remaining in the league stage. However, a few concerns still remain for the camp in yellow that needs to be weeded out before they head into the business at the end of the tournament. A day before the clash against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, New Delhi, batting coach Michael Hussey pointed out that fielding and death bowling are a couple of aspects that need scrutiny and fine-tuning. Poor fielding has been one of the biggest flaws of CSK this season and time and again it has come back to hurt them. Defending 178 against KKR at Eden Gardens, CSK faced a disappointing loss primarily due to their poor fielding. It drew the ire of skipper MS Dhoni, who slammed his team-mates for their woeful attempts.
Chennai Super Kings’ failure to implement plans during the death overs have also led to defeats. Speaking on the issue, Hussey said, “Death bowling is one area where we are really trying to work hard on. We haven’t perfected it yet but that’s exciting as there is still room for improvement in our team. We have had to chop and change the team to see who can bowl at the death. It has been a work in progress. But we are getting a clear idea about what sort of combination will be the best for us.”
When asked if there are any other areas for improvement, the 42-year-old said, “As a coach, you are never fully happy (laughs). Fielding is obviously another aspect. Since we have an older and a more experienced team we might have slower players on the field. So we need to make sure we are doing the right things by just being workmanlike.”
“We are never going to be the most dynamic fielding team and that’s an area we have been trying to be smart with,” Hussey explained.
Addressing the concerns of CSK being a team full of senior statesmen, Hussey said that it is actually a benefit for the team. “A lot has been made about the age but personally speaking, I think it is an advantage. Experience plays a big role in T20 cricket. Several of our players have been in pressure situations before and know how to handle it. So it is a big positive,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Australian, the contest between the Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils will be anything but a dead rubber. “A lot is at stake in this match for us because if we can win this game then it pretty much guarantees a top-two finish. So that is what the team is aiming for. The players are motivated to secure a victory,” he signed off by saying.