CSK coach Stephen Fleming praises team, Ruturaj Gaikwad
By SMCS - Oct 16, 2021 3:50 pm
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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming has praised the team for maintaining consistency throughout the season. Fleming was proud after they clinched their fourth IPL title by beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in Dubai on Friday. However, CSK had a rather dismal show last season in the UAE where they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the very first time. They finished at number seven as well. But this season, they bounced back and did well.

While speaking at a post-match press conference, Stephen Fleming praised the squad as “special”. He said: “It’s very hard to reign them and I also think they’re special as they work hard and the results are because of the hard work. I think the win in 2018, coming back was very emotional.’There is a lot of hard work in this one and we were called the dad’s army in the first year and I don’t think a lot of people had any hopes for us to maintain the competitiveness during this cycle and another year added, so we were pretty much written off.’So, there is little bit of jubilation around there and a lot of pride what the players have been able to achieve and maintain the standards over a number of months. It’s a challenge for the aging side. I’m really proud of what they did, the way they played and it was very special, trust me.”

Stephen Fleming further added: “Well, maybe. I don’t know and there were emotions around. It might be an end of an era as you might not get some players back. There is some emotion around this last game, so when you win it, it’s a celebration but also a recognition of what the players have put in. Chennai has always had a system or a belief that if you can maintain players, keep them with you for a long time, you can get the best out of them. And yes, there are players who have been with us for a long time. It’ll be interesting to see over the next few months how it pans out. Most teams are probably going to go for a change and we could be one. But how that looks like it’s too early to tell.”

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However, a lot of changes will be seen in every franchise as the mega auction will take place before the 15th edition of the IPL where all franchises can retain only two players. Meanwhile, the coach applauded young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, saying he is an ‘absolute superstar’.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad has been batting brilliantly

However, Gaikwad won the Orange Cap for smashing 635 runs during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season. He also won the Emerging Player of the Season award for his stunning show. He even scored 32 off 27 in the IPL 2021 final against KKR.

The coach said: “He’s an absolute superstar already in my eyes. When we introduced him last year, people were a little bit critical, but we were keeping a tab on him, and had very high expectations. What we didn’t understand was the effect that COVID would have. We really felt for him during last year, and we were really delighted that he finished off the season so well.”

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He continued: “With him (Ruturaj) and Faf (du Plessis) scoring so many runs, it’s one of the real reasons we won the IPL. I couldn’t be more happy for Ruturaj. He’s a wonderful guy, and, for a young player, his maturity is beyond his years. I can’t speak more highly about Ruturaj and his combination with Faf, which was critical.”

ms dhoni
MS Dhoni ld CSK to its 4th IPL title

However, Stephen Flaming gave a hint that CSK have already started their discussions over rebuilding the franchise for the next season as well.

“Yeah, we are constantly looking and thinking about what next year could look like. We take a lot of pride in our philosophies and the way we construct our squads. Every other franchise will be doing that as well. This tournament has been good to look at some talent and also reconfirm what we stand for, and how we move forward. There have been a lot of discussions. Hopefully, we can put together another good side and carry on the CSK legacy,” Stephen Flaming concluded.