CSK’s head coach Stephen Fleming stated that the franchise should have put the game to bed after being in a good position at 99/1 with plenty of experienced batters to follow. Fleming added that the balance is perfect and also hinted at playing three spinners later in the season if pitches dry up.
It was a mid-table clash between an ailing Chennai Super Kings side with a resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, with a chance for the winners to pip the other on the IPL table. While Chennai would have walked back to the dressing room in high confidence to chase down a total of 168 with their openers in prime form, KKR bowlers had the last laugh.
Headlined by Dinesh Karthik’s bowling changes, the Knight Riders hung on and dug it deep till the end to secure themselves in a miracle win against the Super Kings, who until the 12th over of the innings were flying high at 99/1. The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper preserved five overs from Sunil Narine and Andre Russell towards the death overs, which forced the men in Yellow to go aggressive and lose their wickets. Following the loss, CSK’s head coach Stephen Fleming addressed the media, stating that the three-time IPL winners should have put the game to bed with the experience they had in the middle-order.
“The balance is very good with six bowlers. An extra batsman is not going to help us, Dwayne Bravo went unused as a batsman. It’s very hard to fit in an extra international bowler into the unit. With Shardul and Deepak, we have a good Indian unit. Alongside that, with the presence of Karn and Jadeja in the middle overs, we had plenty of bowling options. However, with all the experience today, we should have put the game to bed,” said Fleming in the post-match press conference.
The former Kiwi skipper also hinted that the franchise might be looking to employ three spinners in the form of - Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja in case the pitches do dry out as expected.
“First over was very unlucky for Karn Sharma but after that he was really good. He will get some confidence from this. If the pitches do dry out, we might operate him alongside Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja.”
However, at the same time, credit where it’s due, Fleming pointed out that KKR hung in the game deep to grab the two points away from the Super Kings’ reach, with the men in Yellow not having a set batsman towards the end of the innings.
“Ideally we have one or two players to bat throughout. We give a quality IPL team a chance to come back, they will certainly use it. If we had got one of the batsmen to get 75+, we could have had the game. Kolkata hung in there far, put pressure on us to take the game away from us, credits to them.”