Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has put his weight behind the team’s captain MS Dhoni after the wicket-keeper batter struggled to get going against Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Dhoni could only manage 18 runs off 27 as he failed to get going in his innings.
The CSK also failed to hit the single boundary and it was his worst T20 innings in the IPL whenever he has played a minimum of 25 balls. Dhoni could not find his timing against the quality bowling line-up of the Delhi Capitals.
In fact, Dhoni hasn’t been in the best of forms in the ongoing season as he has scored only 84 runs in nine innings at an average of 14 and a paltry strike rate of 97.67. However, Fleming defended his skipper and stated that almost every batter failed to get going and there was no lack of intent from Dhoni.
It has been noticed in the recent past that Dhoni’s hitting abilities are on the wane in the last couple of seasons. Furthermore, Dhoni decided to promote himself ahead of in-form Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, which was a questionable decision. Thus, CSK could only manage an under-par score of 136 runs on the board.
Stephen Fleming said in the press conference, “MS Dhoni wasn’t the only one who struggled. It was a difficult day for strokeplay. I think it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of the big shots. Both teams struggled with that towards the end of the innings. Sometimes you set your sights too high, and probably we were only 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score.”
“So, the difficulty at the moment is to assess what the conditions are in all three different grounds and, batting first, getting a score that is par or just above. It was no lack of intent, it was just we had to stabilize after a couple of mistakes, and then we were reasonably well-placed for 150. The other thing was their attack bowled very well in the last five overs. They were very smart, so it was tough going.”
Meanwhile, the majority of CSK’s runs have been scored by their top-order in the ongoing season and they would want their middle order to take more onus. CSK will play their last league match against Punjab Kings at the same venue on Thursday.