IPL 2021: Why Fleming ranks Jadeja among the world's most versatile players
Jadeja has been one of the top players for the Chennai Super Kings this season
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming praised all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who came into the 2021 IPL after missing months of cricket following an injury in Australia, and said he was close to attaining peak of his powers.
Jadeja has been one of the top players for the Chennai Super Kings this season, with the team times champions occupying the top spot in the points table after winning five of their six matches in the tournament so far.
"We don't have a leadership group. He (Jadeja) is a key member of the side. He is without doubt close to the peak of his powers. He's still working very hard," Fleming said.
"Our doubts were around his lack of cricket coming into the tournament, so we had to work really hard to get him up to speed. He did that through hitting a lot of balls and training very hard and he got up to speed really quickly," he added.
The CSK coach also described Jadeja as one of the most versatile players in the world.
"We think he’s one of the most versatile players in the world, in T20 in particular, but in other formats too. We're lucky to have him right now in his prime and he forms the core of the middle-order and allows a lot of options within the team with his skill-set," Fleming added.
The CSK coach said Ruturaj Gaikwad has come up as a fine Indian talent and established himself.
"We have rated him (Ruturaj) highly for a long time. One of the setbacks he was having with Covid last year created a little bit of delay in introducing him at the right spot,” he said.
"But now, he is there and has established himself. He is a fine Indian talent. We are really excited about having him and what he is doing for us."
Fleming said a change in attitude brought with it a change of fortunes for his franchise, which endured a forgettable IPL last year, and their focus this season has been on playing a faster brand of cricket.
CSK have been on a roll this year and their fifth consecutive triumph came on Wednesday night against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"It was tough in the UAE (the last IPL''s venue). We had a pretty bad run. A lot of things went against us, which we didn't make too much of at the time," Fleming said.
"We made some changes around our attitude towards what we were doing, and then we were really sure what style we wanted to play going into this year's IPL," he added.
"We needed to play a faster game, we needed to keep evolving if we were not in Chennai. And that's what we are trying to do; we are not the finished product by any means, but we're playing well at the moment."
Fleming said the last season had its share of lessons for the franchise, which failed to make the playoffs for the first time since the league's inception.
"...in the off season we just looked at players that could fit in and do a job - not just in Chennai but in conditions that were still a bit foreign. The attitude change as well," he pointed out.
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