We (Pune) have got the desire to win the IPL in our first year: Stephen Fleming

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We (Pune) have got the desire to win the IPL in our first year: Stephen Fleming

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Arun S Kaimal

04/02/2016

Rising Pune Supergiants coach Stephen Fleming on Friday oozed confidence in his team’s ability and desire to win the ninth edition of IPL in their debut year. The Kiwi also hinted that Indian skipper MS Dhoni could play till the 2019 World Cup with the wicketkeeper-batsman physically fit and fresh.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Pune on Friday, Stephen Fleming, the coach of Rising Pune Supergiants, seemed optimistic about his new team’s chance in the season 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL) after enjoying a successful run with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the past editions.

“We are realistic about how hard it is to win the IPL, but we are certainly not here to make up the numbers. We have got the desire to win the IPL in our first year and make a statement," he said, reported Cricbuzz.

When asked about the presence of three national team skippers in his squad – M S Dhoni of India, Faf du Plessis of South Africa and Steven Smith of Australia – the former New Zealand captain made things clear by saying that “ When Dhoni is on the field, there is no question of who is in control.”

"First and foremost, it is an Indian cricket side and my preference is to have an Indian captain. We are fortunate that we have the most popular and successful Indian captain with us and there is no question about who will lead the side. I understand that too many chefs can make things messy, but believe me when you have someone like MS Dhoni, there [sic] is no question who is in control," said Fleming, who turned 43 on Friday.

Fleming also hinted that the Indian skipper can go on playing until the 2019 ODI World Cup with Dhoni being physically fit and fresh.

"I saw him running between the wickets (in the World T20 semis). He is physically fit and fresh as a captain. Having retired from Test cricket has given him a new lease of life. He has a young family and now he gets more time to spend with them. This will help him focus more on his cricket. Also, I won't be surprised if I see you asking the same question in 2019," he said.

Rising Pune Supergiants will take on Mumbai Indians in the inaugural match of the 2016 IPL at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 9.  

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