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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings still getting used to ‘home’ ground in Pune, says Stephen Fleming

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said that they are still getting used to the ’home’ ground at Pune in IPL 2018.

cricket Updated: Apr 29, 2018 10:57 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Pune
Chennai Super Kings are making a return to IPL after a two-year suspension.
Chennai Super Kings are making a return to IPL after a two-year suspension.(AFP)

When Chennai Super Kings rebuilt their squad after a two-year absence from the IPL, they never imagined they would have to play their home games anywhere else but the Chepauk stadium.

But after just one game at their bastion, the matches had to be shifted due to the protest over the Cauvery issue. It was easy to find a new home with so many venues putting their hands up to host the IPL giants but CSK opted to settle at Pune.

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But the migration altered the conditions – the pitch, the weather and the ground diameters which Chennai coach Stephen Fleming said the team is still getting used to.

“The biggest thing for us is to get to know this pitch as this is not Chennai and we picked a side that was going to be Chennai based. So we are learning like anyone else. It was just our second game over here so we have to work extra hard to get home advantage. We have learnt a little bit again today and now we have got only a day to get our combination right for Delhi,” said the New Zealander after his side succumbed to an eight-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

“There’s very little grass out in Chennai than over here. The nature of the bounce is different as well. The bounce is Chennai is quite spongy and the side boundaries over here are not as long as Chennai. We would have to get the minor things right to get to play right team (in the next match).”

MS Dhoni has been going in with three spinners – Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir – in the starting XI which would have been an ideal combination on a slow pitch and longer square boundaries in Chennai. But whether it is the right strategy to persist with at Pune, remains to be seen.

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On the evidence of Saturday’s match, and on a pitch that assisted seamers, Dhoni could use only Harbhajan and Tahir as Jadeja didn’t even bowl an over.

Fleming lauded Mumbai Indians’ effort and admitted that they should have scored more. “We were in prime position but Mitchell’s (McClenaghan) over, where he got MS (Dhoni), was the turning point of the match. We were ready to launch as MS is in great form in the death overs and a score of 190 would have been a probability. They did bowl well to drag it down to 170 which was good cricket from them,” said Fleming.

First Published: Apr 29, 2018 10:55 IST