Chennai Super Kings has been the most successful side in the IPL.

Many attribute this to the core of the team remaining intact through the six years of the tournament.

With the sixth edition into its business end, teams would no doubt have an eye on the combinations to be worked out ahead of the player auctions in 2014. However, coach Stephen Fleming is one of those advocating player retentions.

“I would love to see the rules allow for the core group of players to remain. I think it’s important for the fabric of the tournament. When you have a fan base and franchise base that’s working, it’s a good success story for the competition itself. If you go back to square one then you are asking too much from cricket supporters. I think it devalues the competition itself.”

He cited the example of his own team to drive home the point.

“It’s been a love affair. The team has been immensely proud of being part of Chennai. The value we place on consistency of selections has been rewarded with fans’ support. Chennai loves cricket and we feel a sense of pride that by playing well we got the best out of the fans and they got the best out of us. It was a cricket marriage made in heaven.”

Skipper M.S. Dhoni proved to be the difference yet again and Fleming chose to dwell on Dhoni the ‘anchor’ rather than the ‘finisher’. “He is an outstanding finisher. But he adds another component of batsmanship as well – going in early and setting a platform and today he held our innings together.”

Fleming also admitted that S. Badrinath not getting enough batting opportunities was a bit unfair.

“We feel for not giving him a chance. For him to get one we have to play badly at the start and we have not done that with Hussey and Vijay finding form. We need to make some decisions about him at the end of this IPL. But till now he has been one of our most valued players.”