Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming has played down concerns regarding the team’s middle-order which has not been able to fire in recent games.
CSK, first team to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs, have suffered defeats in their last three outings, with the latest one coming against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Dubai on Thursday (October 7).
CSK’s veteran campaigners such as MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu are failing consistently with the bat, and it was the opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis that had laid the foundation for them in most wins.
“You have to be concerned when you lose three games in a row. Batting first, coming to grips with setting a total, I think it has been a little tricky going around the venues trying to find the target scores,” Fleming said in the post-match press conference after CSK’s six-wicket loss to PBKS.
“I am not overly worried going forward because it can change very quickly. You always get a couple on the way…In my experience, it has always been the case. We have a little bit of leeway.
“The confidence and the method that we use, we have to tune that up in the next couple of days,” he added.
CSK posted a paltry 134/6 after being asked to bat first. Faf du Plessis was the lone warrior with the willow, scoring 76 off 55 balls.
In reply, Punjab rode on skipper KL Rahul’s 98 not out off 42 balls to overhaul the target with 42 balls to spare.
Commenting on Chennai’s batting effort, Fleming said: “We could not find a method to get any fluency into our batting, trying to find the best way to take the bowling on…It was probably a bit slow. Getting the pace of the wicket and trying to find the tempo to create a score. We just came up a short. Whenever we get close, we lose a wicket. It was a much pretty stunted effort in the first innings to keep us below par.”
Reacting to a question over the possibility of playing an extra bowler instead of Robin Uthappa, Fleming said the balance was good.
“Considering we are batting below par not really. The balance is really good with the six bowlers that we’ve got. This tournament is difficult and we have different rhythms at different times, we have struggled to come to grips with the Dubai surface in the last couple of games,” he stated.