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CSK coach says his team can bounce back despite slow start
By IPL Staff
Chennai 18 April 2012
The Chennai Super Kings have not begun IPL 2012 the way defending champions are expected to. They have managed to win only two out of the five matches they have played so far. The team that was known to be invincible at home in the previous seasons is now struggling to come to terms with the newly-laid track at the Chepauk.
However, ahead of their all-important home game against the Pune Warriors India, CSK coach Stephen Fleming expressed confidence in his team’s ability to bounce back. Here are snippets from his interaction with the media.
On CSK’s slow start in IPL 2012
It’s a case of just getting back into the rhythms of the team. A lot of these players play International cricket and we work hard on getting back together, but we do take time to become consistent. There is no rhyme or reason. We work very hard when we get together. We have good memories to come back to. It’s just confidence and getting across the line. To be honest, we have been below par to start the tournament. We would like to slowly come back. It doesn’t happen by accident to turnaround. The beauty of this tournament is [that] it’s really close. No one’s really grabbed the bull by the horns just yet and grabbed the lead. We take heart from that, and trust me, we are very determined to win tomorrow and [will] try and string two or three [wins] together.
On Murali Vijay’s poor form and possibilities of a replacement
There are [such] possibilities when players aren’t doing as well as we they would like to. We like to be consistent with our selections. But certainly when a player doesn’t find the form he likes, it certainly comes up for discussion.
On MS Dhoni’s hamstring injury
I think it’s fine. We expect him to play a full part in tomorrow’s game.
On his challenges as a coach
There are performances a coach can’t control but you can share ups and downs and ride it with the fielders. I take a lot of personal pride in being a past player that can show some sympathy for what the players are going through. I guess that’s part of my coaching style. I breathe every ball, and right now, we are breathing pretty hard. On home field advantage and adjusting to the new Chepauk wicket
I thought we rectified it quite well chasing 200 in the last game. That wicket was a lot different than in the first game. That learning hasn’t stopped. I think we are playing on the same track tomorrow. We have got a bit more knowledge than when we started out.
On R Ashwin’s role
It’s interesting. We love him taking wickets, but unfortunately, at the other end we are going for too many runs. We need one of the fast bowlers to apply some pressure and Ashwin can get back to taking wickets. At the moment, we are using him to check the run-rate and that’s not making the most use of his talent.
On Abhinav Mukund’s fitness
He’s coming back. He’s having a few balls and he’s pretty much close to 100 percent. So he comes back into the selection discussion. He shares a spot with a number of good cricketers […] Srikkanth [Anirudha] is there as well […] [and Wriddhiman] Saha. It’s about balancing our resources.
On the fatigue factor
It’s always been a good challenge of the IPL that you don’t get the luxury to recover. It’s one of the beautiful quirks of the tournament. It’s tough on the players, but every team goes through it. I think Pune [Warriors India] is in the middle of it. They had a tough game last night; [it will be a] tough game with us. So if they have a little bit of fatigue, hopefully we can expose it.
South African all-rounder returns home to mourn close friend’s death
By IPL desk
Mumbai 18 April 2012
The already struggling Chennai Super Kings have been dealt a huge blow as their star South African all-rounder Albie Morkel has gone home. Morkel has left IPL 2012 midway in mourning of the death of his dear friend Louis Vorster and will miss CSK's next two matches at home, against Pune Warriors India and Rajasthan Royals
Vorster, a former Namibia and South African domestic player, was shot dead in an armed robbery. CSK coach Stephen Fleming announced to the media about Morkel’s departure.
“Just for your information, Albie Morkel has travelled back to South Africa first thing this morning after hearing of the death of a very close friend at Johannesburg overnight,” Fleming said. “He goes with our best wishes and sympathies.”
Upon being asked if and when Morkel will rejoin the team, Fleming said, “He will take further part in the IPL, but when that is, we are not sure. We at CSK, we extend our sympathies to Albie, and obviously, wish him and look forward to getting him back.”
Morkel has been a key member for the defending champions owing to his all-round skills. He played a crucial role in finishing the unlikely win for the home team when they were chasing a mammoth 206 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at home.
Fleming admitted the team will miss him, but he also chose to look at the positive side of things. “Doug Bollinger has come after two months of not playing cricket. We put him under pressure to try and deliver in the first few games, which is a tough ask. So we took a decision to give him five-six days to get more bowling. And he’s been excellent this week. So Doug comes back into contention. And that’s maybe how we will make the swap with Albie,” the coach said.