'MI play well against us, got to keep lifting our standard': CSK coach Fleming says split IPL poses 'unique challenge'
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming, ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Sunday, admitted that a split IPL season will pose a “unique challenge” for the team.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been played in different countries (three to be exact), has been played in two countries in the same season but never has the tournament seen a gap of four and a half months between the first and the second half. IPL 2021 is already quite unique in its own ways Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming believes that the split in this season will present an unforeseen challenge.
IPL 14 resumes on Sunday with CSK taking on two-time defending champions Mumbai Indians. Ahead of the blockbuster clash, Fleming shared his thoughts while speaking to CSK TV.
"It's like a fresh start" for another tournament. "It's a unique challenge to have a tournament split in half. So, we just want to start well again but also remembering the work that it took to get a bit of form and to get those wins. It's all about the mindset, people coming together and almost treating it like a fresh start for another tournament," Fleming elaborated.
"There are guys coming in from the CPL and International cricket and that's the beauty of the IPL, they come with great experience and tie them all together. I'm really happy with the work that is being done here. I'm looking forward to it," he added.
Due to strict bio-bubble protocols, fear of contracting the wretched Covid-19, or other personal reasons, many players pulled out before the resumption. Hence, the franchises had to act quickly and find suitable replacements. When the 48-year-old was asked about how new players have adjusted within the group, he said:
"The style of play, the way the new players adjusted into the side and then getting a game plan that suits the players and the balance that we had. So, that was by design...which is always nice when it comes off. The way we batted and the aggressive nature in which we batted and took the opposition on and that was something that was lacking in the first half in Dubai last time. The confidence through that was good and the all-round balance was good to see."
Talking about rivalry between MI and CSK, Fleming said: "We finished the first half of phase 1 with a loss where Pollard played one of the great IPL innings. Mumbai do play well against us, so we got to keep lifting our standards. From a coaching point of view, you want that game underway so that you know what to work on and just exactly where the team's at. So, we're looking forward to it as always and it's a good encounter."