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Chennai Super Kings coach says Chepauk wicket has started displaying familiar traits
By IPL Staff
Chennai 27 April 2012
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has a problem of plenty when it comes to choosing from a pool of fine overseas players. While his headache has increased with Albie Morkel’s return to the CSK camp, Fleming says the team will make selections based on the conditions and form of the players.
He also expressed his pleasure with the way the Chennai track has settled down to hand CSK home advantage again. Excerpts from Fleming’s media conference ahead of CSK’s match against Kings XI Punjab:
On the selection problems with Albie Morkel’s return and Nuwan Kulasekara’s good form
We faced that problem in the last game [the washed out against the Royal Challengers Bangalore] and we retained Kulasekara, [and we are] bringing back Morkel in place of [Doug] Bollinger. We’ll have more problems when Michael Hussey and Ben Hilfenhaus come in. The selection is based on picking the right team for the right occasion and also the form of the players. The team we’re putting out has seven best Indian players and then [we’ll] see which four overseas players complement those Indian players. So, if we look at that rationale and the conditions here, it gets a bit easier. On the Chennai wicket after the first match of the tournament and what it is like now
It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy about the pitch, I was just a bit confused. Now we all know what we can expect and how it will behave in the coming games. Now, the pitch seems to have settled down and has regained some of the characteristics that we’ve come to know in the previous two years.
On CSK’s good bowling performance in the death overs
It’s more of an off-field thing. It requires special skills to do it and we’ve got some good players who have those skills. It’s something that we focused on, not only this year but last year as well. We realised it is a very important time of the match that can win or lose you the game. We’ve allocated a lot of time to find out how to get better at it. We have a very good death bowling unit. [Dwayne] Bravo is someone who’s trained really hard at it and it’s showing.
Kings XI Punjab’s injured skipper says his team can still bounce back into contention
By IPL Staff
Chennai 27 April 2012
Kings XI Punjab captain-cum-mentor, Adam Gilchrist, has been watching his team from the sidelines since the last three matches. Without him, the team has lost two and won one game. Now, as KXIP take on the might of the Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, Gilchrist will be missed the most.
In a press meet ahead of the match, Gilchrist revealed that he will take a few more days to recover from his injury. He also backed his team to stand their ground against the defending champions.
On his fitness
I’m not playing tomorrow’s game. I’m still not sure when I’ll be fit to play. When the injury happened, we thought it would take me three to four weeks to recover. The progress has been really good since the last few days; I’ve been really happy with it.
On whether the lack of form of the Indian batsmen in KXIP is a concern
I think the last three matches have seen our best batting performance as a team. In the previous games, our batting as a unit didn’t click and perform consistently [hence it will be unfair to single out the Indian players]. It has improved in the last three games and there have been contributions from the Indian batsmen. Mandeep Singh and Nitin Saini have been giving solid starts, although they haven’t produced a big score.
Also, we’ve got four overseas batsmen in our top six, which gives limited opportunities to our domestic players.
On the road ahead for KXIP
We’re half way through the tournament and the run home is going to be difficult from where we are placed at the moment. But a look at the competition, where teams are taking games away from each other, we’re fortunately still in with a shout. In every game, we need to improve and take a step further. The next game is an important one, against the defending champions.
On his role in on-field decision-making from the sidelines
I do give my input tactically as any coach does and I’m always there with an advice, opinion or observation. But there is a point in time where the on-field leader has to make decisions. It’s a quick game with too much pressure on the captain in terms of the over-rates. And I’ve realised that sitting on the sidelines, you’re not quite a part of the action. There might be the little things happening in the game that you might not be quite aware of. But David [Hussey] and I are very open with our communication. We look at each other during the game and use the strategic timeouts to get together and plan strategies. On Hussey’s decision to give the penultimate over to Piyush Chawla instead of Azhar Mahmood in the match against the Mumbai Indians
As far as that decision is concerned, I cannot question David’s captaincy, nor Chawla’s effort. When you’ve got the opposition to a position where they need 32 runs off 12 balls, you have to say that the team has done pretty good job to get to that winning position. It was Robin Peterson who really threw the cat amongst the pigeons by hitting two reverse sweeps and then a conventional sweep right out of the park. That sent us in a bit of a tailspin as a group.
On the presence of Azhar Mahmood in the team
Beside his all-round skills, Azhar brings in a lot of experience, knowledge and preparedness to let all that to filter into the team environment. He’s come in with an eagerness to be a part of the team. He realises that he is very fortunate to get an opportunity to play in the IPL, obviously through that English avenue and he respects that. He wants to make it a positive experience and contribute. He’s played countless number of T20 games in recent years and has to be one of the most experienced player in this format. He can bat, bowl and he fields well. I’m very pleased in having him and he’ll continue to play an important role for us in the second half of the tournament.