HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014
Matches getting too close for comfort
Stephen Fleming
May 04, 2012
First Published: 00:44 IST(4/5/2012)
Last Updated: 00:46 IST(4/5/2012)

I have been surprised by the number of last-over or last-ball finishes this year. It’s a reflection of how close the competition is and the amount of pressure each team is under to collect the two points on offer.

While it’s great for viewers, it’s heartbreaking for teams and certainly not great for the health of coaches! With sides playing their best batsmen up the order, the younger and inexperienced ones are exposed to the rival team’s best bowlers. So it is an uneven equation and mistakes are being made as a result.

Morne Morkel’s over against the Rajasthan Royals was phenomenal. Even the game between Bangalore and Punjab was great advertisement. It was anybody’s game till the final few deliveries.

Tough task
We need to win four of the next six games to make it to the knockout. We have had our opportunities but we need to grab them now. We have had similar runs last couple of seasons, but what has changed is our success at home. In the previous years, we would win at home, but this time we haven’t. In T20 cricket, a couple of inches here and a few feet there can be the difference between failure and success.

Mike Hussey’s arrival is a good sign. But we need to now look at the side’s balance because we have a successful batsman in Faf du Plessis.

In the last game we went with a stronger batting line-up. In terms of balance, we also have someone like Ben Hilfenhaus. We haven’t been taking wickets at the top of the innings, so that is an option to look at if required.

Next, are the Deccan Chargers, who are on the up. They are playing with freedom and are a dangerous side. They have had a few close games and their confidence is high.  

The writer is the coach of Chennai Super Kings


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