After losing the final of the IPL by a run, Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming acknowledged the need for rebuilding an “ageing squad” after a poor show with the bat which has been a problem area through out the season. He also admitted the run out of MS Dhoni was a major moment in the match that affected its outcome.
On rebuilding the CSK squad
The core team’s average age was 34, but the team won the IPL last year and finished runners-up to Mumbai Indians on Sunday night.
“We will give some time for dust to settle down. I think if you win one title and reach the final next time, you have had good two years. We do understand that we are an ageing team. So at some point, we just have to look at recreating the side, obviously MS as well,” said Fleming following the one-run loss to Mumbai.
Fleming said that the planning for next season will start after Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back from the World Cup. The former New Zealand skipper said that just like other teams have created a new pool of talent, CSK will also cautiously enter the rebuilding phase.
“He (Dhoni) will be travelling to the World Cup. A lot of talent has been established in other teams. You need to do it carefully and get the balance right, when you try to go for players who you think can deliver for us.”
Dhoni run out was a ‘big moment’
Fleming admitted that the third umpire’s decision to give Dhoni run out was a ‘big moment’
” It was a big moment. Took a long time to give the decision. Always a big moment when MS goes. He was really consistent this year. It’s also the calmness with which he operates that’s different from the other players,” he said.
“So his dismissal does two things. Our job stops down a bit and it lifts the opposition. So yes it was a big moment,” the coach said.
‘We were hoping for one Shane Watson six’
He did not expect a last-ball finish after CSK reached 53 for one in the first six overs.
“Your heart is pumping isn’t it? Lot of emotions. Nine of the last over was probably a position we thought we will never get to after the start we had in the first five overs. I think we were hoping to see one Shane Watson six, which didn’t come eventually.
“Malinga bowled a good over. Shane was tired, he was batting that long. It was a great last over of a final, going till the last ball. A crafty old fox like Malinga bowling a great delivery. We can go back and look at different scenarios that could have taken place but the bottom line is it was a good hard-fought final,” said Fleming.
‘Batters weren’t big enough from the form point of view’
While the bowlers were exceptional, the batsmen could have done better, felt Fleming.
“This year in Chennai was tough (turning track), the conditions were tough to read, hard to play. A little bit of training as well, our batters weren’t big enough from the form point of view. If we look at the aggregate of numbers from our top order, we could have liked a bit more. Batting certainly was a weak part of our game this season, there is a lot of work to do.
“But at the same time, how much more do you need? We got to the final, we went till the last ball. Of course, we didn’t have a good season with the bat. But there was never a lack of effort,” said Fleming.