“Wasn’t The Only One”: Stephen Fleming On MS Dhoni’s Sluggish Knock vs Delhi Capitals

Dhoni Sluggish

Chennai Super Kings were defeated by Delhi Capitals by three wickets at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday, their second consecutive loss. The victory propelled DC past CSK to the top of the IPL points chart. Both clubs have already qualified for the playoffs, but they are aiming for a top-two finish to give themselves two chances in the postseason if they lose a game. CSK captain MS Dhoni struggled to get going in the encounter in Dubai on Monday, eventually being removed for 18 after 27 balls, a strike rate of 66.66. CSK only managed 136 for five thanks to Dhoni’s lethargic performance, which wasn’t enough as DC chased down the mark with two balls to spare.

Source: IPL

CSK coach Stephen Fleming, addressing at the post-match virtual news conference, was asked about Dhoni’s struggles with the bat and responded, “He wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Strokeplay had a tough day today. In terms of big strokes, it was a difficult wicket to score big on. Both teams struggled with that towards the end of the innings.”

“Sometimes you set your sights too high, too many. Probably we were 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score. That’s the difficulty at the moment, trying to assess what the conditions are in all three different grounds. There was no lack of intent, we just had to stabilise after a couple of mistakes,” he added.

“The other thing was their attack bowled very well. The last last five overs were very smart. So, it was tough going.”

CSK have now lost two games in a row, which will cause concern for the team heading into the playoffs. Fleming, on the other hand, was unconcerned about it, but did stress that the team needed to regain its focus as crunch time approached.

“I would rather have two defeats now than two semi-finals. Today was a bit scrappy. There was a lot of mistakes from both sides. Sometimes, when you have qualified things do change a little bit. We have worked very hard to keep up the intensity. We are on the back of three games in five days with the travel. There were probably clumsy mistakes from us, which was the most disappointing aspect.”

“But in terms of the competition, one of the key things is just rebounding. Second on the table, chance to get a top two place is a positive position but we need to get our intensity back and the rhythm we had before these two games,” said the New Zealander.

CSK will play Punjab Kings in Dubai on Thursday in their final league game of the season.