IPL 2020: CSK return after some soul searching
The three-time champions take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Friday following a six-day break
Sometimes, taking a step back is the way to move forward. And luckily, for the Chennai Super Kings, the six-day break couldn't have come at an opportune time.
It was a frenzied beginning to the season with the three-time IPL champions playing three fixtures in the space of one week. And they clearly looked undercooked with two back-to-back defeats to go with the tournament opening win against defending champions the Mumbai Indians.
Coach Stephen Fleming had said after the 44-run loss to the Delhi Capitals, that they were a bit muddled and needed to do some soul searching.
And the Kiwi, who has been with the south-based franchise since the inaugural season, said that they have come back better on the other side of the break.
"We've used this break pretty well, we got some clarity around what we need to do and have practiced very well," Fleming said on the eve of their match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday evening.
"It came at a good time because the first three games were in quick succession and all games were at different grounds, so you have to appreciate trying to read conditions, for each game being predominantly the first team to play there was tough," he added.
Having criss-crossed the three Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai over the past one week, CSK will play four of their next five fixtures in Dubai. And Fleming reckoned it will help them settle.
"It's very helpful that we can settle in and try and read conditions at one ground and not several. I'm looking forward to putting in a bit of performance than we did the last time we played at Dubai where we were outplayed by Delhi Capitals. There were a number of areas that we weren't happy with, and we've worked hard on those," opined Fleming.
Fleming felt that the conditions are still a bit of an unknown but said that the break has helped them watch and glean a few pointers.
"I heard comments yesterday (Wednesday) that teams are still learning, they've had the benefit of playing at one ground and are learning at other grounds, so I'm not sure. But from our point of view, we certainly learnt a lot, and even over the six days now, to watch and try and work the characteristics of each of the grounds has been beneficial. Tough start, but we've got to overcome that and restart well after this break," he said.
The break aside, Chennai Super Kings had more good news with Ambati Rayudu and Dwayne Bravo available for selection. Rayudu, who had top scored for them with 71 in the first game, had missed the next two because of a hamstring injury. West Indies all-rounder Bravo is yet to play this season.
"They are available for selection, so their experience within the squad is going to be important," said Fleming.
David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, said that it was a relief to get their tournament going with a win against the Delhi Capitals.
"It feels great. So, it's a relief. You know we have got a strong belief in the team that we have and the squad and the coaching staff. So, it is great to put everything together and come out here tonight and put a good performance on the board and walk away with two points," said Warner.
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