Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has attributed his side’s stupendous success in IPL to “loyalty in team selection and conservative approach” that has helped the ‘Men in Yellow’ make it to the fifth final in six editions of the cash-rich league.
“We have shown consistency and loyalty in team selections. Moreover, the composition of our side and the kind of mix we have. The combination of selection policy, quality of players, their maturity and above all a good franchise, everything has been fantastic,” Fleming told reporters at post-match conference.
“We have been lucky to have had the same team for six years and have played only finals and semifinals. We have been conservative in our approach and often been criticised for being boring. But in a tournament where results can be emotionally driven, we have had a solid base,” he added.
Chennai Super Kings entered the final of the IPL for the fourth straight time with a thumping 48-run win over Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier here on Tuesday night.
Fleming said that introduction of Ravindra Jadeja was a game-changer as the left-arm spinner got rid of the dangerous Dwayne Smith, who hit a blazing 28-ball 68.
“We were a little bit on the backfoot as the bowling came under a bit of pressure from Smith. We needed to quickly turn around things. Bringing in Jadeja was the right move as it turned out to be the game-changer,” said the coach.
Asked how Dhoni approaches a particular match-situation, Fleming said, “Dhoni is a captain who always has an open plan and I back his judgement.”
Fleming paid rich tributes to veteran Mike Hussey for his phenomenal success, having scored 732 runs in IPL-6 so far.
“It’s been unbelievable. He (Hussey) is also in a little bit of shock as to how good he has been. I used to pull his legs, calling him “too old and traditional” to play some innovative shots. But now that he is concentrating solely on T20s, he is exploring ways to get better. He has been an absolute delight this season,” Fleming said.
The former Kiwi captain said that his choice of opponent for the final will be the side that is more “emotionally drained” after two tough matches.
He was asked for the umpteenth time about whether he would like to coach a national team, and Fleming was quick to dismiss the idea yet again.