We Do Understand That We Are An Ageing Team: Stephen Fleming
Chennai Super Kings’ campaign in IPL 2019 ended on a heartbreaking note as they suffered a narrow 1-run loss at the hands of their bitter rivals Mumbai Indians. Following the narrow defeat, head coach Stephen Fleming indicated that there is a need for rebuilding an ‘ageing squad’. The loss was Super Kings’ fourth of the season against Mumbai Indians and third IPL final loss against the same opposition.
Chasing 150, Super Kings ended up on 148 for 7. The Super Kings were comfortably placed at 70 for 1 in the tenth over before losing Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni for just 12 runs. Shane Watson did manage to keep Super Kings in contention with a fighting fifty but departed on the fourth ball of the 20th over when his team needed just 5 from three balls. Lasith Malinga then defended the three runs to power Mumbai to a monumental win.
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Following the loss, Fleming admitted that the team needs to be rebuilt in order to compete even better from the upcoming season. The Super Kings squad is called Dad’s army by the fans for the several senior players in the team. The likes of Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni and few others are well over 30 years of age. Fleming has now stated that the ageing team needs recreation, thus hinting that the team might release some senior players next season.
“We will give some time for dust to settle down. I think if you win one title and reach the final next time, you have had good two years. We do understand that we are an ageing team. So at some point, we just have to look at recreating the side, obviously MS as well,” said Fleming.
Fleming said that the planning for next season will start after Dhoni returns from the World Cup. The former New Zealand skipper said that just like other teams have created a new pool of talent, Super Kings will be cautious while entering into the rebuilding phase.
“He (Dhoni) will be travelling to the World Cup. 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,” he said.