Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming reckons the standard of cricket in Pepsi IPL-VI has been excellent and hopes the final week of the tournament will produce great contests, as the competition aims to recover from the spot-fixing controversy.
“We don’t want them all (the issue) pushed aside, of course. But we still want the IPL to finish off on a good cricket note,” said the former New Zealand captain on the eve of his side’s qualifier against Mumbai Indians at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium here.
He also wants CSK to avoid taking a longer route to the final in Kolkata on May 26. “Certainly, the advantage of playing well on Tuesday and having two or three days off at this point of the tournament is very appealing,” added Fleming.
Despite having lost to MI twice this season, the 40-year-old coach doesn’t believe past failures will count for anything on Tuesday.
Fleming also doesn’t agree with the suggestion that CSK’s batting is dependent on Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina.
“The fact we have had Raina and Hussey, and Vijay is starting to come into form, has allowed the Bravos, the Dhonis and the Jadejas to play the cameo innings. If they all combine, it’s good for us. Hussey gets the most opportunity (to score) as he opens the batting. I’m more than comfortable with the team dynamic,” claimed the Kiwi.
One of the batsmen to have gained significantly from this season’s IPL is MI skipper Rohit Sharma. The 26-year-old believes the additional duty of captaining the side has benefited his batting.
“When it (the captaincy) came to me it was a huge challenge. I wasn’t surprised because I have been the vice-captain for the last two years. It came at the right time, I feel, and has certainly helped my batting a lot. I understand the game more than what I used to,” he said.
The MI skipper believes his side can win the tournament, if it can raise its game by ten percent in all departments.
He added that the team management will take a call on Sachin Tendulkar’s inclusion after assessing his fitness on Tuesday.