Stephen Fleming:MS Dhoni’s absence creates a big hole in CSK
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who were playing without their regular skipper MS Dhoni, lost by 46 runs to Mumbai Indians (MI) at their home ground in their IPL fixture here on Friday night. Chasing 156 sans Dhoni, CSK were bundled out for a mere 109 runs in 18 overs. Dhoni had to sit out the game because of fever and his absence was felt acutely by CSK as none of their batters showed application to stay long at a slow Chepauk wicket.
Speaking after the game, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming admitted that Dhoni’s absence in the middle was a void his team found too difficult to fill on Friday. “Dhoni is a great leader and a great player, so whenever you take him out of your side and he has been a constant for us for so many years, you just get into the rhythm of having him there. When you take a leader like that out, there are going to be some holes to fill and it’s not that we are not trying to fill it, just that the hole is quite big,” said Fleming at the post-match press conference.
“It takes a mammoth effort to lift the team up when you have your best player unavailable. But we are good enough to do that,” he added.
The CSK head coach also admitted that he was concerned with repetitive mistakes committed by his team in the ongoing IPL edition. He, however, hoped that his team will come out with a much improved performance in the remaining games. “If we do have situations that don’t go our way, we should have the experience of dealing with it; which we haven’t at the moment. I think what concerns me is repetitive mistakes we made many times this season. The fact that we are still at the top of the table is a testament to bowlers and individual performances,” said Fleming.