IPL 2014 news April 14, 2014

'A lot of distractions for CSK' - Fleming

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach, has admitted his team has to cope with a lot of off-field "distractions" this IPL season. He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the nerves are steadying with the team back together.

"There's a lot going on, I won't lie," Fleming said in Dubai on Monday. "There are a lot of distractions. [Leading up to the tournament] I think we were all uncertain about how it was going to play out.

"We were desperate to get back into the fold of the team and have another chance to find some finals and carry on the history of CSK. It has only been six years but a lot has happened. It's nice to get back into a team environment, where you're somewhat cocooned, and get a bit more info. All we can do is try and be consistent again but yeah, it [controversy] is there, we acknowledge it."

The franchise has been on shaky ground ever since one of their officials, Gurunath Meiyappan, who is also the son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan - the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements, the company that owns Super Kings - was arrested on charges of cheating, forgery and fraud two days before the IPL 2013 final, amid the spot-fixing crisis. The Supreme Court of India, while hearing a case related to Srinivasan's conflict of interest issues, proposed suspending the franchise last month, but decided against it in the end.

Fleming said getting together again, as a team, could act as a balm for the players' nerves. "I almost take it for granted that getting back into the team environment is the most important thing. We'll touch on the controversies [in team talks], if we think it's an issue. But I think most players are pretty relieved to be back and playing together."

Super Kings have been the most consistent team in terms of on-field performances (five finals in six seasons, with two titles) and squad selection. This year, though, the team will have a bit of a new look to it: Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel, S Badrinath and M Vijay are not with Super Kings, while a few big names like Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Samuel Badree come in.

Speaking about the changes, Fleming said: "I think there are some pretty powerful additions to the side. Some new tools to play around with this season. There has been a shift in that we've lost a great player in Michael Hussey, but we've gone for some power players that, on their day, can win games.

"We've learnt a lot in the last six years. Now we're trying to build a side that is more powerful. The players we've picked have quality and experience, these guys have done it before. Smith, in particular, has done it before for Mumbai. McCullum's the same - he didn't have much of a go at KKR, but we're looking forward to getting him an opportunity. Overall I know we've got a good side because the Indian core of players is dynamic."

Super Kings are particularly strong in the spin department, with the in-form R Ashwin and Badree backed up by Ravindra Jadeja. Fleming said this should help them, given the conditions in the UAE. "It's going to be important, looking at the practice surfaces and the heat naturally. It's going to play a big part.

"We're pretty comfortable - there's Jadeja, Ashwin, Badree is an excellent buy from West Indies, and we have Pawan Negi [a young left-arm spinner from Delhi] as well. Raina has bowled a bit too. We're pretty confident about the balance."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Senthil on April 16, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    Should CSK play around the spinners? With Badree and Mohit opening the bowling followed by Ashwin and Jadeja for Middle overs with few overs from Baba and S Raina? Bravo basically going to bowl the death overs and I m sure Nehra will be played ahead of all other domestic fast bowlers. So it is going to be 1. Mohit, 2. Badree, 3. Mohit, 4. Badree, 5. Ashwin, 6. Badree, 7. Ashwin, 8. Badree, 9. Jadeja, 10. Aparajith/Raina, 11. Jadeja, 12. Aparajith/Raina, 13. Jadeja, 14. Ashwin, 15.Jadeja, 16. Ashwin, 17. Nehra, 18. Bravo, 19. Nehra, 20. Bravo. How is it? Basically 3 fast bowlers 2 each overs and all others by spinners. If they want more spin, they can go for Pawan Negi as well instead of Dr. Nehra, which will make Jadeja bowling 17th (Instead of 15th) and Ashwin bowling 19th (Instead of 16th) while Pawan Negi will be bowling 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th. How good this formula will work in UAE pitches? I think really good.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    There is one team always in final,that is CSK and other team are always fighting each other to play with CSK...... Its time for CSK.... Final CSK Vs.........?

  • Akhil on April 15, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    My Team CSK:- Mac,smith,raina,faf,dhoni,bravo,jadeja,ashwin,mohit,iswar,nehra..

  • ESPN on April 15, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    Csk is the best team in this year's IPL. No doubt bout it. My playing XI will be: faf, mccullum, raina, baba, dhoni, bravo, jaddu, ashwin, badree/hilfi, mohit, pandey. This is the best playing XI for any conditions. All the best CSK. Become a champion team again. We are here to support u. :)

  • Mohan on April 15, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    Mohan Raj - Like all teams but love CSK snce am from Chennai. Than seeing a individual, they r keen on team bonding & tat makes them a CHAMPION TEAM. Am sure the ROAR is goanna b heavier this time. Its great having Mac(grt exp player), Smith(hard hitter), Badree (Nvr easy 2 pick up) & we got a bunch of shining local player that makes the team formidable.

    My playing 11 - Smith*, Faf/Mac*, Raina, Faf/Mac*, Dhoni, Bravo*, Jaddu, Ash, M Sharma, I Pandey, A Nehra.

    This wil b d best batting line up among all teams. Amount of exp & POWER they got v can chase any total. Badree can b used depending on d PITCH. BUt I trust this bowling Ash, Jaddu, Bravo, Mohit, Raina, Smith, I Pandey & lets try Nehra too at first stage rather trying later. With Dhoni's cap sure these bowlers can do grt.

    I wish to see this line with all guns firing with BAT & with decent bowling. ANy Comments on my 11..... ?

    All D Best CSK :-)

  • Terence on April 15, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Faf, D.Smith, Raina, Mccullum, Shankar, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Hilfenaus/Badree, Mohit, Nehra

  • Mathan on April 15, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    My best XI

    1.Smith 2. Baba 3.Raina 4.Faf 5.Bravo 6.MSD 7.Jaddu 8.Ashwin 9.Mohit 10.Badhree/hillfi 11. ishwat pandey.

  • Ant on April 15, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    Disappointing for Brendom McCullum that he isnt in a squad where he will get a consistent go, again. Being in and out of the team for the sake of giving everyone a go wont bring the best out of him

  • Boromeo on April 15, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    As always CSK has lot of option to tune their their team right from Bat Heavy to Bat Tight, Spin Armory to Pace special. Lot of leadership inputs to MS Dhoni from Faf, Bravo, Raina & MaC. Other than RR, CSK is the real contender this year. KXIP and MI may look heavy but right leaders and coaches aren't there.

    Reg. team selection, on a slow pitch like Chennai, UAE and Bangladesh 2 Indian pacers and trump card Samuel Badree will be the choice. In the faster pitches, Matt Hendry / Hilfenhaus / Hastings will pip Badree

    In the same manner to bolster the pace when Badree plays MSD might go in with Smith in ahead of MaC. When Badree isn't there he will go for MaC ahead of Smith to get the right balance

    Faf will don the role of Hussey in full time, what he was doing part time in Hussey's absence

    Spin Heavy: Faf*, Smith*, Raina, Manhas, Bravo*, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Badree, Mohit, IC Pandey

    Pace Balanced: Faf*, MaC*, Raina, Aparajith, Bravo*, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Hilfy, Mohit, IC Pande

  • NAGARAJU on April 15, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    csk will rock this ipl they having the best batting lineup in ipl 7 but pace bowling some what weak but they manage with batting my playing XI smith,duplessis,raina,mccullum,dhoni,bravo,jadeja,ashwin,hilfenhaus/matthenry, mohit,iswar/nehra.

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