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IPL 2023: We are still learning with these new conditions, says CSK head coach Fleming

Chennai, May 15 (IANS) After suffering a six-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league game at home in IPL 2023, Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming admitted that the four-time champions were still learning about their conditions at Chepauk, citing playing at the venue after a gap of four years.

“Not sure if we got the conditions right, last game it turned and it got considerably harder to bat. This one, it had some spongy bounce to start, and then it almost lost a bit of sting as the game went on. So, it was really difficult to try and work out what the surface is going to do with the dew. Still, the whole way through we are learning with these new conditions.”

“First one, 4-3 in our favour is not bad given we don’t know the conditions. So, we have tried hard to try and understand. Everything that has happened in the past is irrelevant… there have been scores of over 200 and there have been scores of around 145. So, it has been quite a big variance,” said Fleming in the post-match press conference.

Chennai were restricted to 144/6 in their 20 overs thanks to some high-quality spin bowling from off-spinner Sunil Narine and leg-spinner Varun Chakaravarthy, picking two wickets each. It meant that a side which had been thriving on getting big hits against spinners didn’t get them on Sunday.

Fleming praised Chakaravarthy and Narine for keeping Chennai on a tight leash, especially with the former being a net bowler with the side once upon a time. “They are world-class. I mean, Narine is very savvy. His length today was exemplary. They just hit a good length and also the spongy bounce was what undid us.”

“It was not massive turn but it was the spongy bounce that they were able to extract and we found it difficult to find a method to score. They bowled very well and put us under a lot of pressure.”

“It still hurts not being able to buy him (Chakaravarthy) at the auction. He tortured us in the nets for a number of years, but with the auction and the way it is, we couldn’t retain him. The thing is, with the Tamil Nadu players all around the different teams, they knew about him as well, and we were unable to keep him a secret.”

“We were very excited by him as a talent when he bowled against us in the nets, and we would have loved him. He went for a big price that first year. He went off a little bit, and now he has come back, and he bowled really well. He is a weapon, and with Narine, they are a potent combo and coming in conditions like this, they excel,” he concluded.

With a top-two finish still not guaranteed, Chennai will face Delhi Capitals in a must-win match for playoffs qualification on the afternoon of May 20 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.



Agency News Desk
Agency News Desk
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