After suffering a three-wicket loss against Delhi Capitals in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming came in defence of skipper MS Dhoni, saying he was not the only batter to struggle on the Dubai wicket.
Shimron Hetmyer played an unbeaten knock of 28 runs off just 18 balls to help Delhi Capitals defeat CSK by three wickets with two balls to spare. With this win, Rishabh Pant-led outfit moved to the top of the points table with 20 points from 13 games.
"Dhoni was not the only one, it was a difficult day for strokeplay. 137 was almost enough, it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of big shots, both teams struggled with it towards the end of the innings. Sometimes, you set your sights too high, probably we were just 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score," said Fleming during a virtual post-match press conference.
"That is the difficulty at the moment, trying to assess what the conditions are at three different grounds, there was no lack of intent. We had to stabilise after a couple of mistakes. Delhi bowled well in the last five overs, they were really smart," he added.
Earlier, Ambati Rayudu played an unbeaten knock of 55 runs off 43 balls as CSK posted a total of 136/5 in the allotted twenty overs. For Delhi Capitals, Axar Patel returned with figures of 2-18.
"Yeah, I rather have two defeats now than have two semi-finals, if I have a wish list. There were a lot of mistakes from both sides. Sometimes, when you have qualified, things do change. We are trying to maintain the intensity, there were clumsy mistakes from us which was the most disappointing aspect. But in terms of the competition, one of the most important things is rebounding. We need to just to get our intensity back as before," said Fleming.
"The pitch if you watched it, it was very difficult. There was inconsistency, Bravo is not someone who bangs the ball in, his changes in pace and yorkers are his key weapons. I thought tactics were sport on. We did it really well," he added.
CSK will next lock horns against Punjab Kings on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium.
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