Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming expressed delight over his side’s clinical showing on Friday and claimed that he and his side are happy that the Wankhede wicket has slowed down. Fleming also lavished praise on Deepak Chahar, whose 4/13 set up the game for the Super Kings.
After being written off after the first game, Chennai Super Kings’ fast bowlers bounced back in style at the Wankhede on Friday as the Super Kings thrashed Punjab Kings by six wickets to surge to second in the table. Winning the toss and bowling first, the Men in Yellow ran through the Punjab batting order to reduce KL Rahul’s men to just 106/8, before chasing the target under 16 overs to register their first win of the season.
CSK’s performance on Friday was right up there as one of the most clinical wins of the season thus far, and delighted with it was head coach Stephen Fleming. Speaking in the press conference post the game, Fleming described the performance ‘very encouraging’, and asserted that the showing bodes well for the future. The contest turned out to be a low-scoring affair, and the CSK head coach expressed happiness over the fact that the Wankhede, which saw 200+ totals being posted in each of its first two games, had significantly slowed down.
“The performance from the XI today was very encouraging, and now it’s a case of really assessing the conditions,” Fleming said in the press conference post the game.
“Everyone thought it would be a high scoring slogathon, but now there’s little bit more about the teams you pick and the tactics you use. I’m very happy about that. We like the opportunity when there’s a bit in the wicket - a bit of blue collar. We’re really encouraged by today’s performance and the way that the XI played.”
The man who was instrumental in CSK trumping Punjab on Friday was Deepak Chahar. After getting belted in the first game versus the Capitals, Chahar re-discovered his 2018 and 2019 form as the right-armer picked 4 wickets inside the first 7 overs to finish with remarkable figures of 4/13 to set up the game for his side. Fleming asserted that he was left mighty impressed by Chahar’s bouncebackability and termed the 28-year-old as ‘one of the finest around’ when there is movement on offer.
“I’m really impressed with the way he bounced back after the first game. Winning the toss is obviously important to acknowledge so there was some assistance there, but without a doubt when Deepak gets a little bit of swing and little bit of movement, he’s one of the finest around. His ability to swing the ball is one, but his control and skill set is very high.
“The key really is keeping it simple with regards to plans, and just operating in and around the stumps. Today was a great example of the skills he has. Great comeback after a below-part performance in the first game.”
Though CSK emerged victorious, it was a torrid night in Mumbai for young Ruturaj Gaikwad who, after putting down a catch, endured a titanic struggle with the bat before perishing for a 16-ball 5. It was the right-hander’s second consecutive failure, after posting a 5 in the first game versus the Capitals, and thus cries for Robin Uthappa to open the batting have gotten louder. But Fleming rubbished suggestions that CSK might drop Gaikwad and asserted that the Maharashtra opener will be backed to the moon.
“I am really happy with the balance of the team. Ruturaj, I believe, is a fine player. He got a good ball in the first match and very difficult conditions today. It was not a 220 wicket today. It was quite different.
“He is a young player whom we showed faith in last year and his talent came through. Look, our philosophy when we pick players and put them in the team is to back them. And this combination is certainly (a reflection of) that.”
CSK will play their third game of the season against the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede on Monday, April 19.