Hyderabad: With ageing members in the squad, they’ve been called the Dad’s Army but after taking the IPL final to the last ball, Chennai Super Kings have done pretty well feels coach Stephen Fleming even as he admits the batting came a cropper and hinted at rebuilding the Yellow Submarine.
“I think if you win one title and reach the final next time, you have had good two years,” Fleming said after the one-run loss to Mumbai on Sunday. “But at the same time, how much more do you need? We got to the final, we went till the last ball.”
Fleming indicated impending changes. “We do understand that we are an ageing team. So at some point, we just have to look at recreating the side. We will give some time for the dust to settle down,” he said.
The New Zealander said plans for next year will start as soon as ‘Thala’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni returns from the World Cup beginning this month-end. “A lot of talent has been established in other teams. You need to do it carefully and get the balance right, when you try to go for players who you think can deliver for us,” Fleming said.
The coach also felt his batsmen could have done better. “Our batters weren’t big enough from the form point of view. If we look at the aggregate of numbers from our top order, we could have liked a bit more. Batting certainly was a weak part of our game this season, there is a lot of work to do,” he said.
However, he added: “The conditions were tough to read, hard to play in Chennai this year. But there was never a lack of effort. ”
Fleming felt Dhoni’s run out in the final was a turning point and pepped up the Mumbai Indians. “It was a big moment. (The third umpire) took a long time to give the decision... He (Dhoni) was really consistent this year. It’s also the calmness with which he operates that’s different from the other players. So his dismissal does two things — our job stops down a bit and it lifts the opposition,” he said.
Fleming admitted he did not see the match going to the last ball after CSK were 53 for 1 after six overs. “Nine off the last over was probably a position we thought we will never get to after the start we had in the first five overs. I think we were hoping to see one Shane Watson six, which didn’t come eventually,” he rued.
The Chennai coach credited Mumbai’s Malinga for keeping his cool while delivering the final over. “It was a great last over of a final, going till the last ball... a crafty old fox like Malinga bowling a great delivery. We can go back and look at different scenarios that could have taken place but the bottom line is it was a good hard-fought final.”