2011 was the last when Chennai Super Kings under the coachship of Stephen Fleming won the coveted IPL trophy. CSK is one of the most successful IPL teams in the competition has made the playoffs every year in the past decade.
CSK were demoted from the tournament in 2015 and now as they make a comeback two years later, it is the experience that coach Stephen Flemming is banking upon to win them the tournament under MS Dhoni.
The maverick captain MS Dhoni has some experienced players as his allies for the tournament and players who have been part of successful IPL franchises in the past. Dwyane Bravo and Harbhajan Singh are two such prime examples.
On picking up an experienced side, Fleming said "I'm not sure when a young player came out and was the top run-scorer. You get some exceptions, like Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) and Washington Sundar. But there's only a handful, whereas experienced players play major parts in the whole tournament, so that's why I value experience," Fleming said on the eve of their match against Mumbai Indians.
"There's also about the quality of player, like (Dwayne) Bravo is still competing well, (Shane) Watson's competing well, Harbhajan (Singh) has great skill sets and Dhoni is a fine leader. So the players we've picked, I don't think they're spent by any means. It's a year-by year proposition and this year I think they look very good," former NZ skipper said.
CSK and MI restart their rivalry afresh when both the teams take on each other at the Wankhede stadium tonight. Fleming said regarding the match " I think we've prepared well. (It's) just a lot of nerves around, but no more than normal. Players want to get into it and we've had the best part of 12 days leading into the competition. The general feeling is we're just ready to go."
"It's a great rivalry (CSK and MI) and this is what the competition needs. We couldn't have asked for a better game to start with. A game of this intensity at this ground is always a thrill. So the players are excited about it," he added.
He further confirmed that Faf du Plessis will not play the opener on account of his finger injury. He also welcomed the introduction of DRS in the IPL for the first time.
"DRS, if it's used properly is positive. If it can help the game get the bad one right, then it's a good thing," he concluded.