Chennai Super Kings (CSK) might have failed in their run-chase against Rajasthan Royals (RR) but head coach Stephen Fleming said they didn’t feel the need to change the batting order as they “don’t mess with things that are going well”.
Set a target of 203, CSK managed 170 for six to suffer a 32-run loss, their third defeat in eight matches this IPL season.
Asked if CSK could have sent some of their big-hitters up the order, Mr. Fleming said, “The set roles are very important. (Ajinkya) Rahane has been great for us at No. 3. We don’t mess with things that are going well. It was just today we came up against a team that took the pace off the ball. We couldn’t get any real momentum in the first six overs.”
“Devon Conway, who is in outstanding form, couldn’t get underway. The rhythm of the innings was slow. When we tried to catch the game up, we made mistakes,” he added.
Playing at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Rajasthan made 64 for no loss in the powerplay, and went on to amass 202 for five after batting first while Chennai managed just 42 for one in the first six overs.
Mr. Fleming admitted they lost the match in the powerplays, saying the opposition was “outstanding” with both the bat and ball in the first six overs.
“The first six overs, they were outstanding with the bat and the ball as well. That just set the two innings up for them,” Mr. Fleming said at the press-conference.
“We could have been better, but part of that is playing away from home — trying to find out the right length to bowl, what sort of swing conditions we are going to get. That’s part of the challenge of playing away,” Mr. Fleming said.
Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a 43-ball 77 to set the tone before Devdutt Padikkal (24 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (34 off 15) provided the late charge to prop up RR.
The CSK bowlers were a bit unlucky as a lot of edges went for boundaries in the final overs.
“This pitch was a lot different in appearance than the last one. It played well. It was starting to get a bit slower towards the end, but Rajasthan played a great home game. They came out of the blocks really well. Jaiswal played a great innings to create some momentum,” the 50-year-old coach added.
“We came back quite nicely in the game. We were a little bit unlucky. In the last 3-4 overs, just with a few nicks, probably 16-20 runs more than what we thought. That’s just how the game goes. Those extra 20 runs made it quite tough.”
Mr. Jurel said he has practiced for match situations where he can make an impact in few balls.
“My mantra is to bat and rest will take care of itself. I just played the situation. I’ve done three-four hours batting every day. I make sure I’m getting something from my batting,” Mr. Jurel said.
“I try to keep the game simple. I know I can hit everywhere. Even if I play 6-7 balls, I know I can get big hits and totally change the game. This is a spot which was given by the management so I practice like that. It doesn’t feel like if I’m getting runs or I have less balls, I’ve to score big runs, it doesn’t matter,” he added.
Mr. Jurel was run out by M.S. Dhoni and the batter said he is just lucky to share the field with the Indian legend.
“I’m fortunate enough to share the field with M.S. Dhoni. I have always dreamt of it. I don’t feel the pressure, I feel motivated. He’s behind me, he’s watching me, that’s enough for me,” he said.