IPL 7: We have been lucky with our team selections, says Flemimg
New Delhi: After enjoying an excellent first half of the IPL-7 in the UAE, the Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming is happy that selectorial decisions have paid off hoping that the yellow brigade might continue with their winning momentum.
"It is a lot of hard work that goes into it. We have been very lucky with our selections and the players have repaid the faith already," said Fleming on the sidelines of the teams` practice at the Feroz Shah Kotla today. "If you ask me that five wins in six games, I would definitely take it. We are perennially slow starters but this season has been different. To get a start like this has been excellent," he added.
Having featured in five of the six IPL finals, two-time champions CSK have performed like a well-oiled machine under the captaincy of MS Dhoni but coach Fleming wants to remain cautious due to unpredictable nature of the format. "Touchwood, most departments are going well. We have bowled well, fielding has been excellent and batting has been good. But we know how form can be fickle in the T20 format. We have always been cautious of making staements like that, but at this stage things have been going well in all departments," said the former New Zealand skipper.
The opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum has been super consistent for the Dhoni-led side and Fleming, who has been CSK`s coach for six seasons now, admits that well begun is half done. "He (McCullum) has leadership qualities and an energy to him that is quite infectious. His combination with Dwayne and Faf de Plessis along with the Indian fielders has provided some electricity to the fielding. Certainly his runs and the opening partnership has been the highlight so far this year," said a beaming Fleming.
Fleming, 41, also gave an insight into the player-picks in the February auctions, saying that bagging McCullum and Smith has been a masterstroke in many ways than one. "I enjoyed my time with Brendon in the New Zealand side. He was pretty young then but he has developed well. He is now our national captain and playing some great cricket. We were aboslutely delighted to get Dwayne as well. He hurt us when we played against him so one way to stop him was to buy him and get rid of that headache," chuckled Fleming.
The weather in Delhi has been punishing but Fleming said players should be ready to adjust to weather changes. "It has been pretty hot throughout. UAE was hot. The players won`t be too affected by it. The night games will not be too bad. The afternoon games, yes, weather may play a part But the players are conditioned for it," said Fleming.
Chennai are comfortably perched at the top and most likely to make it to the play-offs and Fleming is happy with the team morale. "We have played some really good cricket. I am not going to put a dampner by saying that it`s a long way to go, but we have been in a position before when we have realised how quickly things can change. There is a nice mood in the camp and are determined to keep playing well," concluded Fleming.