Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming said that his team management sticks to their players for a longer period more than any other team in IPL.
CSK eked out Delhi Capitals by four wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium to secure the first finalist spot in IPL 2021 after Dhoni finished the game in his old style to bring back a lot of memories of his illustrious career.
Before Dhoni’s heroics came into the limelight, there was another batter in that team who regained his form in the course of the topsy-turvy chase for CSK on Sunday.
Yes, we are talking about Robin Uthappa, who warmed the bench for most of the season in the Yellow colours and could manage scores of 19 and 2 before his gritty knock against the Delhi Capitals that redefined his IPL career.
Robin Uthappa’s performance was very special: Stephen Fleming
Uthappa smacked 63 off 43 balls, his innings was laced with seven fours and a couple of sixes and was involved in a 110-run alliance with opener Ruturaj Gaikwad as the duo resurrected CSK’s innings after losing Faf du Plessis early in the chase.
CSK made 59 runs in the powerplay overs, of which Uthappa scored 40 runs, 20 of them coming in the fifth over against Avesh Khan. Fleming said that he is proud of every player’s performance and mentioned that Uthappa made the best of the given opportunity.
“He has had a long time out and he has been training hard and the opportunity came up. When opportunities are given, we tend to stick with players a bit longer than the rest and he repaid that in bucketloads. Right from the first ball his intent was good and without doubt, that partnership set the game up for us,” Fleming said during a virtual press conference after the match.
“We are proud of every performance that a player puts up to help win a game but this one was very special,” he added.
We saw the result of that: Stephen Fleming on MS Dhoni’s promotion in the batting order
CSK needed 24 runs off the last two overs, and their well-settled opener Ruturaj Gaikwad departed on the very first ball of the penultimate over bowled by Avesh Khan.
Then walked the skipper, promoting himself ahead of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and dispatched an Avesh Khan’s short ball over the deep mid-wicket for a six to bring the equation down to 13 runs from the final over.
MS Dhoni finished the game with his crackling shots, three boundaries in a row off Tom Curran’s bowling to showcase his old form back to his fans and critics. Fleming said that he didn’t stop Dhoni from going ahead of Jadeja as the skipper himself was very confident of that decision.
“There was a lot of chat. I think we spoke more in these 20 overs than we have for a long time. Just a lot of technical discussion, manoeuvring how to work out how it was going to unfold. I’ll tell you what, when the captain gets that look in his eyes and says that he’ll go, it’s been well documented that he has done that, and today was one of those. So, I ain’t holding him back and we saw the result of that,” Fleming said.
CSK will play their ninth IPL final in the 12 seasons they featured and will aim to grab their fourth IPL title.