Stephen Fleming, head coach of the Chennai Super Kings, has come out and stated ahead of his team's Indian Premier League final against the Sunrisers Hyderabad that "teams win competitions and individuals can win finals so we’re game for that match-winning performance" and backs the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side to triumph and clinch the title for the third time.
Reiterating his team's success and how the season has panned out, Fleming was quoted saying, “The load has been shared, the usual culprit of the side made up for a number of times, I guess teams win competitions and individuals can win finals so we’re game for that match-winning performance. It’s a great final and the players like Rayudu are looking forward to one more performance and that’s the exciting part of this tournament that one player can shift a game as one player did for Sunrisers last night (Rashid Khan) – he had a huge impact.”
Stephen Fleming was further talked about the way Ambati Rayudu has risen for CSK with the bat, throughout the season. Praising the right-hand batsman, he said, “Rayudu has been very good. He’s been one of a number of players that have contributed with match-winning performances, we’ve had a few, He was somewhat written off, I guess, as most of our team was at the end of the auction. So it’s good to see him get some game-time and grow in confidence and the way in which he has done it is very rewarding from a coach and an option point of view. But he’s been one of a number and that’s been a characteristic of our campaign that we needed, that the players stand up and that was the last example but we’ve been with others all the way through"
Amidst many transitions that have taken place across the franchises, one has been Fleming's own with Chennai Super Kings and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Fleming was the coach of the Rising Pune Supergiants while CSK were going through the exile of two years but coming back to where he belongs was emotional, he says.
Talking at the press conference ahead of the biggest occasion, Fleming said, “Yes, the two years with RPS were quite challenging but very good because we had had a good run with CSK, I won’t say complacency at all but we had a core group of players which meant that our structure was very strong,”
“To strip that away and start again while the remaining teams remain intact was a great challenge for what we believed in, certainly what I believed in and MS (Dhoni) as well. So it was good from a professional point of view to add another layer to the coaching and the man-management in IPL. You maybe get a little bit of blanket as to what you get and you’ll be introduced to another group of players; different conditions has certainly helped me grow.”
“From an emotional point of view, yes, great to be back with CSK and great to input both learnings into practice, So looking back over that experience, no we wouldn’t want it to happen and we would have liked to roll on and stay the same. But now putting those things into play has been quite a positive experience. The other thing is you get complacent about some of the things that are good, the grass is not always green and the players to have come back after a couple of years have also matured, so there’s been a positive sign.”