CSK have firepower to match RCB in batting prowess: Fleming
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming expects his side to match Royal Challengers Bangalore in batting prowess in their T20 match in Chennai tomorrow and said he has a weapon in off-spinner R Ashwin to unleash against dangerous Chris Gayle.cricket Updated: Apr 12, 2013 20:11 IST
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming expects his side to match Royal Challengers Bangalore in batting prowess in their T20 match in Chennai on Saturday and said he has a weapon in off-spinner R Ashwin to unleash against dangerous Chris Gayle.
"May be it will be a high scoring game with the quality of hitters on show, and certainly with Gayle and Kohli in form you will expect them to fancy their chances of getting a big score. We are going to be equal to them," Fleming said.
"We started poorly, so we have to come to grips with the conditions. We certainly did not bat well last time here (against Mumbai Indians). We batted very well and responded to self criticism from me, and Vijay and Hussey did very well (in the second game against Kings XI Punjab). And that is going to continue," he said at the pre-match press conference.
On being reminded that Gayle and his captain Virat Kohli have not delivered against CSK at the Chepauk, Fleming said, "I would hope it (poor form in Chennai) to continue. It very much depends on the day, Ashwin has bowled very well to Gayle in the past. We have used him well.
"Now we have got some more firepower. We are probably a stronger bowling side that what we have been in previous years. Whether that marries up to putting guys of high calibre under pressure, we have got to wait and see. But it's an excellent challenge and good one for us here," said the former New Zealand captain.
"There is excellent rivalry between the two sides and certainly respect the way they started. (They have won) three out of four games, playing very well at home. We have got a very good home record, that is one of our strengths," he said.
He said the big win against KXIP has boosted the morale of his side after losing at home against MI in their campaign opener.
"The morale is pretty high after the win (against KXIP). You always want to settle down fast and the longer it takes to get there, the more anxious you get. It affects right from the coaching staff to the players on the field," he said.
"So the morale is high with the style of win but we are a very realistic side. We don't get carried away with big defeat or big wins. So you won't find us different from our normal approach. The captain is pretty cool headed," said Fleming.
CSK middle-order failed against MI and did not get a chance to bat against KXIP, but Fleming does not see any problem in that regard.
"No issue at all. The middle order enjoyed watching the openers play that well. What happens is that the other guys want to bat into the same thing. So we create excellence from the top and that flows through.
"And, certainly Mike Hussey is in form and we can build the innings around him. So we are excited to see his form and pleased to register a win which is a great performance. Rather looking for any weakness out of it, it's more of guys being eager to go out and hope that they do the job," he said.
Fleming said it's unlikely that Albie Morkel, who joined the team few days back, will play on Saturday.
"We had a good practice with him today, but to be honest the way the team played in the last match it is difficult to make a change. All the overseas players in the last game played very well. It will be hard for him to push his way up after the way the guys played."
Asked about the banter going around 'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja, Fleming said, "It is none of my doing. It's a good sign particularly the way Jadeja has taken it. It has caused a lot of hell in past, not at the expense of he not enjoying it.
"They have a great banter between themselves, the Indian players who are his peers at the moment. If he can take it, and they can give it then it is quite funny."
Asked who between Mohit Sharma or Imtiaz Ahmed can come in place of pacer Ankit Rajpoot in Friday's match, Fleming said, "It has been one of our discussion points. Rajpoot bowled only one over in our last game, so his place does come up for discussion and the other two are very good campaigners.
"So we did a bit of work prior to the start of the season, farming out who is the best Indian fast bowler and who is in best form. So that will be another discussion point for the team for tomorrow."