Stephen Fleming, head coach of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who crashed out of the competition this year for the first time in the history of the cash-rich league, expressed his excitement over rebuilding the side ahead of next season. CSK crashed out of the IPL 2020 competition but won their remaining 3 league games.
As a first, three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings crashed out of IPL13 even before the playoffs, for the first time in the history of IPL. CSK, led by captain MS Dhoni, were the first team to be eliminated from IPL 2020.
Stephen Fleming: It’s A Great Challenge, Fun And Responsibility To Rebuild Squad
Chennai Super Kings played their last IPL 2020 game against the Kings XI Punjab and emerged victorious, hence finishing their run in the season positively. CSK head coach Stephen Fleming didn’t seem in a good mood throughout the season even saying that the team may have run out of juice.
CSK exited positively from the IPL after a 3-match winning streak winning against strong Bangalore, Kolkata and Punjab. Stephen Fleming, their coach, seemed positive about the team’s next season. On the same day, MS Dhoni promised to return donning the CSK jersey again quashing rumours of IPL retirement.
“It’s a great challenge. It’s great fun and there’s responsibility around it, but when you get the likes of Ruturaj [Gaikwad] come through and some of the players getting the mix of youth and old,” Fleming said at the post-match press conference after the nine-wicket win over KXIP.
“We go back to the same team which Mr. Srinivasan and CSK picked and how right they got it. We’re looking to do the same if we can get a decade of consistent cricket from a side, you’re doing something right.
“So, we’re tapping into that and yeah there’s big responsibility. But, it’s one of the challenges… good and exciting challenges of being involved with an IPL side,” Fleming spoke of rebuilding the side.
Chennai Super Kings were without the services of veteran Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina both of whom opted out before the start of IPL 2020. They missed the services of Dwayne Bravo in initial matches and injury returned later to rule him out of the competition. Ambati Rayudu was injured and missed a few matches.
The selection policy is also to be blamed as they depended on non-performers like Kedar Jadhav and Murali Vijay which backfired. Along with that Imran Tahir, last season’s maximum wicket-taker didn’t get many opportunities.
Stephen Fleming: Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Sick But Was Always A Key Player
Further on, Stephen Fleming praised the 23-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored three back to back fifties in a row to end his season for the Super Kings. The positives were definitely Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad while the failures were Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav and Piyush Chawla.
“Covid really knocked him around, we knew how good he was from the time we’ve had in the last two years; the pre-season [camp] in Chennai was outstanding.
“One of the disappointments was obviously he got sick and the fact that it hung around for so long, people underestimated what it does to a player physically and mentally.
“We tried to get him into the game really early on, looking back probably it was too soon, so it wasn’t effective,” Fleming explained why CSK couldn’t get Gaikwad earlier.
“Obviously in the bubble, we spent a lot of time together and when things aren’t going well in the IPL, it can get a bit toxic. Some were getting opportunities and some weren’t which again is the nature of the IPL.
“We were finishing on an up is a testament to the players more than anything that they were still committed to respecting the jersey and franchise and finished the tournament well so that we can look back and say ‘what if’ rather than ‘what next’. We’ve got too many fans as well relying on us to do well and we have an obligation to do that,” Stephen Fleming concluded.
CSK’s were runners up in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019 while winning 2010,2011 and 2018. Meanwhile, Shane Watson had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.