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Shirin Sadikot in Chennai 12 April 2013 - 07:37pm IST

We have the bowling to counter Gayle: Fleming

CSK coach believes the current attack is the strongest they’ve had

The Chennai Super Kings started off IPL 2013 on the wrong foot, with a loss at home against the Mumbai Indians. However, the two-time IPL champions brought their campaign back on track with a thumping away win over Kings XI Punjab.

As CSK prepare for another tough home game against the pumped up Royal Challengers Bangalore, Coach Stephen Fleming is glad the team will be entering the contest with their morale high. 

“The first win is always very important for everybody to settle down and the longer it takes to get there, the more nervous and anxious you get,” Fleming told reporters on the eve of the match. “We’re happy to have got that first win under our belt and our morale is high after the style of win.
“Bu having said that, we’re a very realistic side. We don’t get affected by a big defeat or a big win. So, you won’t see us differing from our approach to the game.”

CSK have been bolstered by the arrival of their star South African all-rounder, Albie Morkel, who has won them some crucial games, especially as a finisher with the bat. However, Fleming conceded that the team is most likely to stick with the winning combination from the last match.
“He looks good. But to be honest, while he’s always a chance, given how well the team played in the last match, it will be difficult to make a change.

“The overseas players did really well in the last game but often a little twisted ankle or a small injury gives other people opportunities. So, we’ll have a good chat after training and make sure there are no such injuries. If that’s the case, it will be hard for Albie to push his way into the XI,” said the CSK coach.

While hinting at fielding an unchanged contingent of overseas players, Fleming said the team might make an alteration as far as the uncapped Indian fast bowler is concerned. He admitted that Ankit Rajpoot might make way for either Imtiyaz Ahmed or Mohit Sharma.

“Rajpoot only bowled one over in the last game so his position does come up for discussion,” Fleming said. “Imtiyaz Ahmed and Mohit Sharma are very good campaigners and we’ve spoken about them. At the start of the season we spoke about who is the best and most in-form Indian fast bowler we have. And their names will certainly come in the discussion for the team for tomorrow.”

As the talk drifted from CSK to their opposition, Fleming said they were vary of RCB’s form, especially that of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
“There’s an excellent rivalry between the two sides and we certainly have respect for them after they’ve won three out of four games. This is going to be a high intensity game with the quality of heads on show and with a guy like Kohli in form, we expect them to fancy their chances of getting a big score,” he said.

However, Fleming was confident that his team will maintain the upper-hand against Gayle and company, like they have in the past, especially since they have a strengthened bowling attack.

“We’ve always managed to combat them well in Chennai and we hope to continue with that. Ashwin has bowled well to Gayle in the past and we’ve used him well. Now we’ve got a bit more firepower and we have other options against him. We’re definitely a stronger bowling side than we’ve been in previous years,” Fleming said. 

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