Chennai: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming on Wednesday hinted that captain M.S. Dhoni could be used as a floater in the middle order for the upcoming IPL season. Last year, Dhoni predominantly batted at No.4 or 5 and scored 455 runs at an astonishing average of 75.83.
Dhoni had to move up the order last season after Kedar Jadhav was ruled out with a hamstring injury following the opening match. “Dhoni batted pretty much at No. 4 last year but we do use him in a little bit of flexible role, so that won’t change. His form has been outstanding in the last ten months, so, we won’t be getting tricky because we have a new player as well (Kedar Jadhav), which is great. So, we’re really happy with the batting order and the thoughts around that,” Fleming said.
The biggest talking point in the run-up to the IPL-12 is the workload management as the much-anticipated World Cup begins soon after the T20 extravaganza. As four CSK players — Dhoni, Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu and R. Jadeja — are likely to board the flight to the UK, Fleming knows that their workload needs to be monitored.
“Probably managing the workload of the bowlers will be the only topic of discussion. It will have an influence — but it will be minimal for CSK as we don’t have Cup-bound Indian bowlers in the line-up. Yes, this is going to play a part. The reason I say that is England 18 months ago stipulated when their players will be leaving early — Australia are the same. It has had an impact. When we sit and pick as a team, we were mindful of how many players will be leaving early and what the balance would be like. So, it has had an influence,” explained Fleming.
Fleming assured that so much emphasis on workload management would not take the sheen out of competition in IPL. “As far as individual players taking it easy, I have no concerns with that. Certainly from the group of players we have, once you’re involved in a competition and committed to a team, there’s a competitive aspect that makes them as good as they are. And that won’t be compromised. While they are with the team, I don’t see any complacency or let-off with a view to the World Cup,” he added.
CSK’s no to Yo-Yo Fleming also revealed that the Yo-Yo fitness test was never used in the camp, but insisted that the process they follow is effective. “We have enough ways to keep the guys up to speed and the way we wanted them to play. There are certain expectations of fitness which will be met. We have world-class physio and trainer with us. We don’t spend time policing them because we have other things prioritised. We have only two months, whereas the national team deals with the players the rest of the year. However, I expect the players to do their work so that they can meet the standard set by the Indian team. And I don’t want CSK players to be labelled as under-performers in fitness,” he said.