'We'd have loved to play Mumbai'

'We'd have loved to play Mumbai'

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said that they would have loved to play Mumbai Indians in the semifinals of the Champions League T20 after crumbling to an eight-wicket defeat against Trinidad and Tobago in their last league game here.

The already-qualified Chennai surrendered their top spot in the group to T&T after the Caribbean side overhauled the 118-run victory target with 29 balls to spare last night.
T&T needed to complete the chase within 17.4 overs and they did it in style with man of the match Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine being the star performers.

The result left Chennai facing the challenge of breaking Rajasthan Royals’ 12-game winning streak at home in the semis.

“Ideally, we would have liked to keep our winning ways and stay here at one place. We would have loved to face Mumbai in the semifinals but you can’t pick and choose and we are now heading to Rajasthan. They are a pretty formidable side at home and we need to be on top of our game. It’s a good challenge for us,” Fleming said.

“There is no illusion as we know their record at home. They played well at home and also away from home. They did well in the IPL last season and reached the semis. We all know how tough it would be for us. We had some great games against them in the past,” he added.

Fleming said it could be possible that players became complacent against T&T after securing a berth in the semifinal.

“Once you qualify, there is an element of intensity which goes and you try hard as a coach and as a player to keep that competitive edge,” he said.

Asked about the loss to Trinidad, Fleming said Chennai kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.

“There were a couple of dismissals in the middle; we lost (Suresh) Raina and (Murali) Vijay in the middle of our innings. We kept on losing wickets and did not last full 20 overs which meant we were out of the game. We lost the plot halfway into the game. It was a sub-standard performance from us,” he said.

Fleming said playing back-to-back semifinal and final would be tough on the team.
“Playing two days would have been tough on us. Although, we would have loved to stay on at one place but I would like to see the Rajasthan home crowd. It maximises the interest in the game,” he said.

The only worrying factor for Chennai Super Kings is the poor form of Ravindra Jadeja, but Fleming  said he’s been targeted by the rival players.

“He is being targeted. Players are aggressive against him. He only comes on to bowl after six overs. I believe he is a better ODI bowler. He has been good for us,” he said.

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