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Trying to find batting combination that does well for us: Fleming

Source: PTI
April 24, 2024 12:15 IST
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IMAGE: CSK have been juggling their top three in the ongoing IPL season. Photograph: BCCI

Chennai Super Kings are not looking for a "quick fix" to their issues in the batting department and head coach Stephen Fleming is ready to give the likes of Daryl Mitchell time to get settled in top-three after their fourth loss in eight games.

CSK have been juggling batters in the top three through the season. On Tuesday against Lucknow Super Giants, Ajinkya Rahane and Ruturaj Gaikwad came to open while Mitchell was promoted to number three from five.


In the previous game, Gaikwad pushed himself down to number three to accommodate Rahane and Rachin Ravindra.

Following their dramatic loss to LSG at home, Fleming said they need to get their batting combinations right.

"It's a mixture of trying to find that (combination) and also form. We're a little bit uncomfortable with some areas, so we're trying to find not a quick fix, but the right combination where players are going to contribute for the back end of this tournament," said Fleming after first loss of the season at home.

Mitchell, who was bought for Rs 14 crore at the auction, has totalled 146 runs in seven innings.

Fleming insisted that number three is the ideal spot for the fellow New Zealander.

"There's a lot of pressure, obviously. Getting up the order is more comfortable for him. Me putting him down the order in the hitting role wasn't his best position.

"So, we've looked to rectify that and get him up the order where he has had his best performances internationally. That might take a little time, but the top three need to contribute the majority of runs.

"Ruturaj did that today, so hopefully, he can continue his form, and the others can pick that up... We're not firing on all cylinders by any means, but we're in each game asking teams to play well to beat us. We just got to get a little bit better," he said referring to skipper's unbeaten hundred in a losing cause.

While Mitchell's promotion did not yield the desired result, LSG sending Marcus Stoinis to number three proved to be a game changer as he singlehandedly pulled off a memorable win for his team with an unbeaten 124 off 63 balls .

Fleming, who has worked alongside the Aussie all-rounder in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars, recalled how impactful he had been at the top, especially as an opener.

"He's got power, but he's also got good batsmanship. For Stars, we got him to open the batting, and he was quite prolific," he remembered.

"Today, we saw the quality of his work. His 50 came up in about mid-20 balls (26), and then he just controlled the innings.

"What more could you ask from your top three? They needed someone to answer for what Ruturaj did, and Stoinis did that beautifully."

Been lucky to experience Dhoni mania for past 16-17 years 

Though it has been close to four years since the great M S Dhoni retired from international cricket, the unconditional love he gets from his legion of fans remain undiminished.

The World Cup winning captain is batting like the Dhoni of old this season, finding sixes and fours at will. Fleming considers himself among the lucky ones to  witness fans' unparalleled admiration for Dhoni across venues. 

"It's an experience you like to have in the stadium every time he plays. It's been lucky for me to have this magical experience for 16-17 years.

"The love for him throughout the world is a testimony to the way he has played the game. People talk about MS as a person, but he is also a great player, and he has done some great things for India and Chennai (Super Kings).

"People take time to appreciate it, and we do that every day. We are lucky to have him in our side for so long. So, it's not lost on us, and we enjoy every moment."

The CSK-LSG clash witnessed a huge amount of dew coming and Fleming and his team had anticipated it.

"(Apart from Gaikwad) We saw another great hundred from Marcus Stoinis, and they answered pretty well. It was a good game of cricket, and we felt we played well given the conditions in the backend, but we did some little things wrong under pressure."

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