Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming is glad that changes made to the team broke an increasingly familiar “trend of losses” in the IPL and said the side will look to find new ways to achieve match-day perfection in the upcoming games.
The most prominent change in Tuesday’s 20-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad was Sam Curran’s elevation to the opener’s slot and Fleming said the move provided momentum to the CSK innings. Curran scored 31 off 21 balls in the 20-run triumph, only their third in eight matches this season.
“We had Sam padded up for every innings. We thought rather than getting clogged up and probably too much batting resources, we would take one out and be certain about Sam and put him on the front,” Fleming said at the post-match press conference.
“We have put the onus on the batting group rather than hiding and shuffling it. It was great and Sam provided a little bit of momentum in the front. We wanted to do something different because the trend of our losses was becoming too familiar,” Fleming said after CSK’s 20-run win.
Asked about their next match against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah on Saturday, he said, “We cannot be a perfect side. We have to find ways to introduce new players who can make a difference on the day.”
The CSK coach said there were “some apprehension” about batting first and putting up 167 for 6 on the board against SRH.
“It was nice to bat first. It was the first time we batted first and won. We were used to chasing. We were also a little bit apprehensive but it was in line with most scores, currently the tracks are getting slower and turning,” said Fleming.
He admitted that CSK were facing some challenges around the balance of the squad but said they were trying to work through.
“We have got the luxury of too many batsmen and too many bowlers. The plan was to have an extra spinner as the pitches were getting slower and it was quite positive to have a leg-spinner (Piyush Chawla).”
On CSK using seven bowlers in the match, he said, “Our bowling attack is fluid. MS (Dhoni) was comfortable with an extra bowler — an extra leg spinner — which was a positive option as we felt the pitch might slow down.
“As it turned out, he (Chawla) only bowled one over but it was a good over. It was positive rather than carrying an extra batter,” said the former New Zealand captain.
Talking about the reasons behind sending Watson at number three, Fleming said, “Shane has got a lot of experience. Against swing bowlers, he is very well-equipped to take on the attack in the second half of power-play or later.
“(Opener) Faf (du Plessis) is very good at going over the top early, while Shane has more of a power game, suited to the next phase of the innings.”
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kane Williamson top-scored with 57 runs but they fell short. Head coach Trevor Bayliss insisted that Williamson was doing a good job at number four and he was being slotted there to guide the young Indian players in the middle order.
“Look, there is an argument for playing Williamson higher up the order, obviously he is a high-quality player, currently he is doing the job for us at number four and hopefully bat with some of the young guys in the lower middle-order.
“His experience can help out the younger players. He is a very good player, if he bats at number three, he can play bigger knocks but playing at number four is his role right now,” Bayliss said.