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Shirin Sadikot in Mumbai 27 May 2014 - 05:48pm IST

Unknown venue a big challenge: Fleming

CSK coach admits selecting the team for Brabourne conditions will be tough

The blitzkriegs of Yusuf Pathan and Corey Anderson have brought Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians together in the IPL 2014 Eliminator. The two teams with a budding strong rivalry will lock horns on Wednesday, at the Brabourne Stadium – a fairly unknown venue in the IPL.
Going into the big game, CSK coach, Stephen Fleming, admitted that selecting the XI best suited for the conditions at the CCI will be the biggest challenge for the team management.

“It makes it difficult. You tend to build your knowledge on a particular ground and determine what kind of individuals to select based on the conditions,” Fleming said. “To play at a ground that hasn’t hosted a lot of cricket and doesn’t have any recent history is a big challenge. Our biggest challenge in this game is that we are not a 100 percent sure exactly what kind of side we should select. We’ll just look to pick players who are ready for the opportunity and are experienced in general.”

Fleming, however, felt that the Mumbai Indians will feel more at home at Mumbai’s second venue and that CSK will have to bring their A game.
“MI defeated us the last year, but this year, we’ve had some revenge with two wins against them. In effect, it is a home game for Mumbai Indians and we will have to play extremely well. We’re in good form and we’re happy with the way we’ve come into the Playoffs.”

Fleming said that it was good for his team to come into the Playoffs with a win against RCB, after their short slump in the middle, where they lost three games on the bounce.

“It was important to stop the run of defeats,” the CSK coach said. “We were not playing well and there were a number of reasons for those three losses in a row. Maybe it was the fact that we had already qualified in the top-four; whatever it was, we were complete off the mark. The performance in Bangalore was exactly what I had asked for.”

While he was pleased with the team’s momentum, Fleming did rue the fact that they missed out on finishing in the top-two, as KKR overtook them on the basis of a superior net run-rate.

“It feels a bit odd when you have the same number of wins as the other team, but here, the nature of the wins matters a lot too. There are rules and we’ve known them all along. We tried to win a game quickly against SRH in Sharjah and almost lost it. So, we learnt a lesson of just concentrating to win the game, even if the net run-rate doesn’t work in our favour.

We’re delighted to be in the Playoffs; it shows good consistency, and if this is a champion team, we will overcome the challenge of winning three consecutive games to become the worthy champions,” he said.

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