The Steven Smith-led side Rising Pune Supergiant coach Stephen Fleming is proud of the boys, who put up a great show and has further shown the satisfaction over the right combination which has played a crucial role to qualify for the final of the tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I am very proud of the combination we put together and the campaign we ran,” Fleming was quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
After a heart-stopping Indian Premier League 2017 Grand Finale between Western coast teams on Sunday night, in which Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indian eked out a one-run victory over Rising Pune Supergiant to claim their third title in the IPL history.
“We would have loved to have sat here and had the icing on the cake but it does not change the feelings about the work that we put in during the year to get to this point,” Fleming said.
Fleming also revealed the side has missed out the money-spinning Ben Stokes, who had been prolific both with the bat and ball before returning home due to international commitments.
“We were a batter short with Ben Stokes not being here. We were playing an extra bowler and we were a little mindful of that. Big stars have stepped up at key times as well. Ben Stokes was fantastic for us,” Fleming maintained.
As the low-scoring thriller at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium scripted a history for Blue brigade, Fleming believes things were getting tougher on the slow wicket which further witnessed a couple of misses as the see-saw game fall in the lap of Mumbai Indians for holding its nerve till the end.
“It was a game of inches and metres. We knew that it was going to be tough. We knew their bowling attack was top class. They just hung in and created enough pressure to get across the line but it was just a great final,” Fleming remarked.
While terming the great end to the Twenty20 cricket carnival in India, Fleming stated Steven Smith was pretty close to win the match for Supergiant while saying had the Australia stayed for last over it would have been different altogether.
“It was full of pressure, full of mistakes and it was full of great performances. It was a grand finish to a good competition,” Fleming asserted.
While effusively praising skipper Smith, Fleming pointed senior campaigner Mahendra Singh Dhoni adds value to the team while terming him ‘humble’.
“Steve was the captain this year and MS Dhoni slotted in to the role of a senior player very easily. He is a proud man but he is humble man,” Smith added.
Fleming stated the dressing room was home to restrict Mumbai Indians on 129 while terming the Hyderabad surface as a double-paced wicket.
“We were happy. The way we bowled and went about our work was very good. One-hundred and twenty-nine, if you asked us that as a score in a final to chase down, you would take it every time,” Fleming concluded.
In next edition of IPL, Rising Supergiant and Gujarat Lions will be replaced by now-defunct Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, who was coached by Fleming himself.