'Pressure' cost Chennai two matches - Fleming
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has said he believes the pressure of expectation, which comes from winning two successive IPL titles, contributed to his team's defeats against Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians.
Against Daredevils on Tuesday, Super Kings imploded for 110, with M Vijay, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath and R Ashwin being run out - which Fleming also attributed to pressure.
The Super Kings' captain MS Dhoni scored 11, taking his aggregate to 22 runs in three matches, but he was backed by Fleming. "Yes he's under pressure but it's a pressure where he's thrived before and one that he lives with, day in and day out, playing for India, so it's nothing new.
"He has a desire to win, so he will feel pressure to perform like all other players do, and him more so because he's a very talented player and a key component of this side," Fleming said. "When he's playing well, nine times out of ten we win the matches."
Run-outs cost Super Kings dearly in both their losses, with three batsmen (Dhoni, Ashwin and Faf du Plessis) erring in the season opener against Mumbai Indians on April 4. "We panicked, we were trying to create runs that weren't there and we paid the price," Fleming said. "I don't want to make run-outs an issue, but it's mainly due to the pressure we're being put under."
However, Fleming said it's still early days in the tournament. "It's too early to give you big synopses of what is going wrong; it's two games we haven't played well, we want to rectify it."
"We are not an up-and-down side, we are usually consistent, but we've been beaten twice now and have been well off the mark. We just need to reassess how hard we're going with the bat and may be set our sights a little bit lower, and if we over achieve then we're in the game."