Stephen Fleming, as is his wont, offered a sharp, no-nonsense assessment of Chennai Super Kings’ nine-run loss to Mumbai Indians in the former’s first match of IPL-6, here on Saturday.
Unhappy with his batsmen’s approach, the CSK coach termed the reason for the defeat as “understandable but not acceptable.” “It’s just very bad cricket. It was poor decision-making from pretty much all our batsmen. Some of the dismissals were out of character, reckless. There’s a lot of confidence, maybe over-confidence, maybe lacking a little bit of respect towards the little things.”
Asked if harsh words would be exchanged with the team, the 40-year-old quipped: “My Tamil is not that good.” Fleming, then, went on to describe the outcome as a “reality check”. Fleming, however, was heartened by the bowling effort. “What you need to keep in mind is it’s a new attack with (Ben) Laughlin, (Ankit) Rajpoot, and (Dirk) Nannes. The fact that we were able to keep them under 150 was a very good effort.”
Earlier, man-of-the-match Kieron Pollard, his face expressionless, said he didn’t want to “over-think.”
“I just tried to stay there and bat. It was a good wicket. There was the dew factor and the ball tended to slow down a bit.”
Acknowledging the need for improvement in bowling at the death, the Trinidadian was non-committal about batting up the order. “I will have to back myself in every situation. If I get an opportunity to bat higher, I will take it.”
Pollard said he instinctively decided to shift to deep mid-wicket when Dhoni took strike in the final over. “It’s a wider boundary. Dwayne (Smith) was there all the time. I said ‘let me go there, you go to long-on.”