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IPL 2021 Every time Dhoni gets time in the middle, he will improve, opines Stephen Fleming 

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Fleming is quite pleased with the way CSK have performed so far


IPL 2021 Every time Dhoni gets time in the middle, he will improve, opines Stephen Fleming 

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SportsCafe Desk


Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming has hinted at the possibility of batting MS Dhoni higher up the order as he reckons that he will get better if he bats more in the middle. He also backed Ruturaj Gaikwad and stated that after the last season, he will get more time to prove himself.

MS Dhoni is a cult figure, who divided opinions like anything, in the last few years of his international career. Mostly, it was about his slow-starts and lack of intent, that had him on the wrong side of the things. But that has only worsened with time. The last year's IPL was a proper disaster for him as he merely racked up 200 runs that too with a strike-rate of 116.28. The IPL 2021 has been no different for him and after three games, the former Indian skipper has been averaging 9 with a SR of 94.74. His 17-ball-18 against RR on a flat Wankhede wicket was ridiculed by one and all and even the man himself admitted that on some other night, it could have costed his team. 

Speaking on MS Dhoni, team's head coach Stephen Fleming remarked that the 39-year-old's batting will improve every time he gets more game time in the middle and also hinted that he might well come up the order in the upcoming games. 

"Every time MS Dhoni gets some time in the middle, he will get better and better. We have so much resource, but there will be a possibility where we would like to throw him up in the order. At the moment, we are trying to look for a solid order. The way we are playing and using it, it's quite encouraging," Fleming said during a virtual press conference, reported ANI.

Not only Dhoni, even Ruturaj Gaikwad has been under scanner as he has failed to turn up in the first three games. The right-hander has scored 20 runs in three innings at an average of 6.67. He continued his poor run of form against RR too, making 10 off 13, that too in the Powerplay overs, which made his knock even more inexplicable. However, he has the full backing of the team management, stated Fleming. 

"Robin Uthappa is waiting, but Ruturaj Gaikwad has that spot, he earned a bit of time with the way he played last year, you know your philosophy. We give our players a good run and if the intent is there, we will continue to back them. At the moment, we are backing a good young player."

One of the brightest spots for the MS Dhoni-led CSK has been the performance of all-rounder Moeen Ali. He was again brilliant in the game against RR and followed up his 26-run cameo with three crucial scalps, and was even named the Man of the Match. Fleming feels that Moeen has filled up the all-rounder void that was there in the team last season and is very happy with the results that CSK have been able to churn out so far. 

"Moeen Ali is adding an all-round aspect to our game. We lacked it a bit last year but his contributions have just been what we were looking for. We are absolutely rad with the way he has started. In regards to the way, we are playing the game, I am really excited about that as well. I think we have not played a good 20 overs with the bat yet but still we are able to get high scores so the long resources we have, we are using that and we are pushing the opposition hard. Moeen Ali has been really impressive and with the way he has played at number three, has been instrumental in us getting big scores," he said.

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