After stumbling to a 10-run loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming said that playing an extra batsman would not help the side as they already have enough batters in their lineup.
CSK was set a target of 168 runs and the MS Dhoni-led side found itself in a comfortable position at 99-1 in the 12th over with Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu at the crease.
However, Ambati Rayudu was sent back to the pavilion by Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and from there on, KKR choked the runs and as a result, the Dinesh Karthik-led side won by 10 runs.
“We have got a lot of batsmen anyway so I think the balance is pretty good with six batsmen, with Bravo at number eight, we are struggling to use him, I don’t playing an extra batsman will help. You also have to look at the combination, Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo were very good. Our challenge is that our two all-rounders are going well, Watson and Faf are also going well, it’s very hard to fit an international bowler in this lineup. We are relying on the Indian bowlers with Shardul and Deepak, you have got Indian quality. It’s a pretty well-balanced side, but with the experience we have, we should have won the game against KKR,” said Fleming while replying to an ANI query during the post-match press conference.
When asked as to what was the turning point in the game and where the match went wrong for CSK, Fleming replied: “Ideally you want one-two players who bat through the innings, if you give an opportunity to an IPL team, they have some quality overs to take it, Narine’s overs at the backend made it pretty difficult, if we could have had one batsman who scored 75+ and continue the partnership for the next four-five overs, the game might have been different. Kolkata hung in there, they put pressure on us and we just could not accelerate. I think we feel disappointed that we let it slip, Kolkata hung in there enough to create pressure on us.”
Kedar Jadhav came in to bat for CSK at the sixth position and he remained unbeaten on 7 from 12 balls. The batsman looked out of sorts during his stint at the crease and he was unable to strike the ball properly.
Commenting on why Jadhav was sent ahead of Dwayne Bravo, Fleming said: “We have so much batting resource, Kedar is a middle to late batter for India, we could have gone a lot of different ways, in the game against KKR, Kedar hit some balls but it did not work out. You always go back and put different batsmen in different areas and that’s when you have so much batting talent to choose from. At the time, we thought Kedar could play the offspinner really well and also Jadeja to come in at the other end, but there was too much work to do and we were left short.”
While batting first, KKR was bowled out for 167. Rahul Tripathi was the only batsman who was able to leave a mark as he played a knock of 81 runs. For CSK, Karn Sharma scalped two wickets and he returned with the figures of 2-25 from his four overs.
“I am very pleased with how Karn Sharma performed against KKR, he has been waiting for a while for his opportunity, his first over, he was a bit unlucky but the next three he really worked hard and he got us back into the game. If he can get some confidence from this and the pitches get drier, in combination with Piyush and Jadeja, we might be able to operate with spin like we used to,” Fleming said.