IPL 2018: Stephen Fleming Speaks Highly of Mahendra Singh Dhoni despite CSK’s Loss
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming was in all praise for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and has been proud of team’s remarkable effort despite their loss to Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Sunday night (April 15).
Chasing another massive target, Chennai almost pulled it off while banking on Dhoni. Vintage Dhoni was on offer as he played a blistering knock of 79* including six fours and five sixes.
Meanwhile, this would have been CSK’s third win while chasing after successfully overhauling 165 against defending champions Mumbai Indians,
In another thrilling game, CSK chased the target of massive 203 against Kolkata Knight Riders, with a ball to spare.
Fleming lauded Dhoni’s effort but felt it was Chris Gayle’s knock that took the game away early on.
“We were hit hard by Gayle. He played really well. We thought we might be able to pick him up with him being a little bit rusty. We did incredibly well to restrict the score to somewhere under 200. The second half of our bowling during the innings was very good. We were able to get some wickets and create pressure. A score of 196 is still very high, but it’s a lot lower than what it could have been. I’m proud of the effort,” Fleming said.
However, CSK didn’t have a great start losing Murali Vijay and Shane Watson at the top.
“During the chase, we just hung in and as good as Gayle was at the start of their innings, Dhoni was good at the back end of ours. We were only one hit away from stealing another win. A great game of cricket, that ebbed and flowed, and two really good batting performances from two senior players,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mohit Sharma used his brain to bowl outside off-stump as Dhoni, with a severe back pain couldn’t reach it. He also bowled some good yorkers to seal the game for Punjab.
Going ahead Stephen Fleming felt that although he is happy with the way the team has shown character to fight, there are still areas where they can improve.
“I would love a game where we bowl a team out for 140 and then chase it down. But the competition is very even. Wickets at the top are important. We’ve seen teams do that. We’ve got to reassess that and make sure that we have the right combination. We’re not too far away. There are areas where we can improve. We have two wins out of three with injuries and a bit of drama surrounding our home, we will probably take that,” he concluded.
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