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“We Were Not Comfortable”: CSK Coach Stephen Fleming Interesting Take On Loss Against LSG

Following his side’s six-wicket loss to Lucknow Super Giants, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming said that the team is not focusing on finding a quick fix to their problems, but rather a right combination that will contribute during the back-end of the tournament. Marcus Stoinis defied the odds with his relentless onslaught and his maiden ton guided Lucknow Super Giants to a 6-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk on Tuesday in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Following the game in the post-match press conference, Fleming said, “We are a little bit uncomfortable with some areas. So, we are just trying to find not a quick fix, but we are trying to find the right combination where players are going to contribute for the back end of this tournament. We have had injuries, and we have been a little bit unsettled, but the main thing is getting guys in key areas and in form and that sometimes takes a bit of time. But yeah, there has been more change. Some of it is forced upon us and some of it is form.”

Talking more about the game, Fleming said that the team knew that dew was going to come after 20-25 overs of surface being slow so the toss was important. He also lauded the skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad and LSG all-rounder Marcus Stoinis for their centuries.

“We saw a great hundred from Ruturaj, absolute craft, fantastic knock and he played incredibly well with some power to get us to a score of 210. So, we were not comfortable with that score, but we knew we were in the game. And we saw another great hundred from Marcus Stoinis. So, they answered pretty well. And in the end, it was a good game of cricket. We felt we competed well, given the conditions,” he added.

He also went on to laud Stoinis further, pointing out that he has got “power and good batsmanship”.

“They (LSG) needed someone to do what Ruturaj did and Stoinis did that beautifully. But not a surprise, we knew he is a danger weapon, a dangerous player, we needed to get him out with Pooran and the other two at the top. So, we got close but we just could not get the last one out. Good game though and again two great hundreds,” he added.

On former skipper and legendary wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni’s reception on the crease, Fleming said that the franchise and the fans are really lucky to have experienced Dhoni’s “magic” over the last 16-17 years or so.

“I think I said it earlier, but the love for him throughout India and throughout the world is testimony to the way he’s played the game. People talk about MS as a person, but he is also a great player and he has done some great things for India and for Chennai. So, people were just taking time and energy and effort to appreciate him and we do that every day. And we are very lucky to have him in the side for so long,” added Fleming.

Fleming also said that the batting all-rounder Shivam Dube, who has not bowled since IPL 2022, has been working really hard on his bowling for the last 12-18 months and is aware of how important he is as a bowler.

“He knows the importance of him bowling. So, he is working very hard on that. It has not transpired for him to have overs in the games just yet, but he is working very hard on that. And what he is also working hard is his batsmanship. And I think that has been a real area of improvement in the last 12 to 18 months. Again, today he was a lot more comfortable against quicker bowling, but he still has that power, which is quite unique,” said Fleming.

“He has been a good, consistent performer for us this season. And I think to win the IPL you need a little bit of that, a bit of magic sprinkled throughout and he is providing that,” concluded Fleming.

In the ongoing season, Shivam Dube is the sixth-highest run-getter. He has scored 311 runs in eight matches at an average of 51.83 and a strike rate of 169.94, with three half-centuries. His best score is 66*.

Coming to the match, LSG opted to bowl first. After a slow start, it was a century from skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (108 in 60 balls, with 12 fours and three sixes) and an explosive half-century from in-form Shivam Dube (66 in 27 balls, with three fours and seven sixes) that powered CSK to 210/4 in their 20 overs.

Matt Henry, Mohsin Khan and Yash Thakur got a wicket each for LSG.

In the run-chase, LSG struggled to catch the right tempo in the first half and was 88/3 in 11 overs. But it was Stoinis, who was sent up the order, kept his side in the hunt with his ferocious striking. Cameos from Nicholas Pooran (34 in 15 balls, with six fours and two sixes) and Deepak Hooda (17* in six balls, with two fours and a six) relieved some pressure from the Aussie star’s shoulders as he blasted 17 runs within three balls of the final over to seal a six-wicket win. Stoinis was unbeaten on 124 in 63 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes.

Stoinis took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

LSG is in the fourth spot with five wins and three losses, giving them 10 points. CSK has dropped to fifth spot, with four wins, four losses and a total of eight points.

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