The ‘farewell fever’ has truly gripped Indian Premier League (IPL) fans this season, with people turning up in yellow wherever MS Dhoni has gone to play. Be it New Delhi or Kolkata, stadiums have been painted in yellow, with fans anticipating this to be the last season as player for the Chennai Super Kings skipper. Even CSK coach Stephen Fleming was asked if he is aware of Dhoni’s plans beyond this season. However, the New Zealander refused to give a yes or no answer, suggesting the ‘Thala’ hasn’t indicated anything yet.
“Dhoni hasn’t indicated anything this as the last season”, said Fleming when asked about the CSK skipper’s future during the press conference after the match against Punjab Kings on Sunday.S
Speaking to media after the PBKS match, Fleming sought to defend the team’s bowlers after a four-wicket defeat to Punjab Kings in their IPL match here and said the likes of Tushar Deshpande and Akash Singh were doing a pretty good job.
“Not really. The boys have done well. You have to acknowledge (Tushar) Desphande, Akash Singh … They are leading the attack, a tough ask. On a wicket that was getting better with a little bit of dew, it was always going to be tough,” Fleming said at the post-match press conference.
Fleming admitted that Punjab Kings have a lot of big hitters and taking wickets and holding nerve became important.
“You can find a lot of things to be critical. But you have to be realistic. Really good batting, some power batting from their hitters. It is a high pressure game and tough on bowlers at the moment,” Fleming said.
Deshpande bowled the 16th over during the Punjab run chase in which he conceded 24 runs which proved to be crucial in the final analysis. Punjab scored the required three runs off the last ball.
The CSK coach said the total of 200 was a very competitive one but CSK could have score more.
“We could have got a few more. The last four overs weren’t as productive as we would have liked. Any time you cross 200, we were well and truly in the game, The impact player has pushed totals up a little bit. Still a very competitive score,” he added.
On fellow New Zealander Devon Conway who has been in impressive form and scored 92 not out on Sunday, Fleming said, “Yeah, impressive. He just finds a way, doesn’t he. He doesn’t always look that good on the eye and other times he looks exquisite.
“He is just a player that finds a way. He has a game, he has a good strike rate, we are really happy with Devon’s contribution. Certainly the rock of the innings, we could bat around him.” Fleming praised Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma, who played a crucial hand in his side’s win, and said, “Jitesh has been very impressive. He is a very good striker of the ball.
“Quality stroke playing right through the innings…Pretty tough on the bowlers. The new rule is good on batters but is making it tough for bowlers,” he added.
With PTI inputs
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