Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said a tired lot of players, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina, and the inability to adapt quickly on a new track were the reasons for the defending champions' early exit from the Champions League Twenty20.
"In terms of their form and what they have come up, there is an element of fatigue. No doubt that they are playing a lot of cricket as a lot of other players," Fleming said after Chennai collapsed to 155 chasing 202 against New South Wales in their final league match here last night to bow out of the event.
"But playing with players with fatigue is part and parcel of the deal for an IPL coach. They have come through a tough tour and if you are looking for form, Twenty20 does not give you a lot of time to adjust to Indian conditions," he explained.
"I think the pitches that they have played on in the last couple of matches in England as compared to the pitches here is a big difference. The rest of the answer has to come from them but as a coach I was happy with what they gave. Of course, they did not perform as I expected them to," he added.
Fleming lauded NSW's bowling attacks for maintaining pressure over his team's batsmen.
"We needed to chase 200 runs. That is a difficult task and you have to take risks. I do not think anyone had chased 200 runs in 17 overs or you can lose wickets along the way. We had no other option and we could not win the game. The choice was to keep striking. I think it will always be a tough task when your rival scores over 200 runs," Fleming reasoned.
Fleming said the preparation of his team, which assembled just a few days before the event, was not good on a newly-laid track.
"We have got no excuses and our preparation was rather tough. Also, the change in wicket was a massive influence as we were expecting to play the same style of cricket that we have done for the last three years.
"I think the wicket change was needed by the teams. We had to bring in massive adjustments once we learnt that. Probably, it is difficult for an IPL side to come together for three weeks rather than the sides that have been training for a long period of time. That might be the other reason," he said.