Reflecting on the no-ball controversy that left Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli seething, Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming Saturday said he was all for umpires making correct decisions but does not also want too much dependence on big screen replays.
Kohli had came down heavily on umpire S Ravi in RCB’s IPL match against Mumbai Indians on Thursday after the final delivery bowled by Lasith Malinga turned out to be a ‘no-ball’ but was not awarded to the Bangalore-based side which lost the game by six runs.
The India captain had made a scathing comment that IPL was not club cricket and umpires should keep their “eyes open”.
Asked about the no ball incident, Fleming said, “The other night there is the team that felt aggrieved by the missing of the no-ball and the team that got away with it. Part of that is sport.
“But I still want, as a coach and as a player you want as many right decisions made. The flip side is you don’t want to interfere with the rhythm of the game and you don’t want the game to be too much dominated by looking at the big screen,” Fleming said ahead of CSK’s match against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
The wicket for the IPL opener between CSK and RCB came in for criticism after it produced a low-scoring game and Fleming said the new surface for Sunday’s match looked a lot better and harder.
“It certainly wasn’t up to the scratch in the first game and contrary to belief, that wasn’t by design by us. I’ve looked at the surface (for tomorrow’s match), it looks a lot better, a lot harder and compact. But we just have to be flexible as soon as the first ball is bowled and play accordingly.”
Asked what an ideal T20 wicket would be, Fleming said, “It depends which way you look at it. We bought a side based on Chennai’s history, which is a slower track. What we saw the other night was an aberration, that’s not normally how it is.
“A sort of a 160-170 score here has been what we’ve looked for in the past. The pitch in Delhi was fractionally slow but certainly dry. It think a variation of surface is what you’re after, you don’t want 200 every time. People think that’s the best wicket but if you ask the bowlers that’s probably not a great season for them,” said the former New Zealand captain.
To a question on the lack of top overseas pacers and balance in the CSK team, Fleming said the players were not compartmentalised as overseas or local players.
“We value all the players in the squad, not as overseas or local players. We’ve got some good talent. Mohit Sharma is still yet to play and he’s getting back from an injury. We haven’t got a tall, bounce bowler in Ngidi. (Scott) Kuggeleijn has got pace and the velocity of which is something different.
“The way the pitch is going here and the way our spinners are playing, I don’t think pace is necessarily the key. The balance is probably more that interests us. But you can’t be everything and we certainly back the players we’ve got. That’s why we don’t make hasty decisions about what type of player we want. We think we’ve got enough cover and players that are in form waiting for an opportunity,” he added.
CSK have chosen to field only three overseas players in the first two games and Fleming said it was about abilities in the squad rather than the question of a foreign player versus an Indian player.
“Looking at the squad and skills is not based on overseas versus Indian. Harbhajan Singh was a great option for the left-handed combinations that we faced in the first two games. And that can change if you face a lot of right handers, you’ve got Mitchell Santner there.
“But you don’t have to play four overseas. Whilst in the past you’ve picked overseas players that fit into your side, we’re really happy with the quality of Indian players that we have and that’s why we tend to talk about the abilities in the squad rather than you’re an overseas player or an Indian player,” he added.