Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming believes that it will be a unique challenge looking at how the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season has been split into two halves.
Dubai [UAE], September 19 : The IPL 2021 season will resume later today with CSK and Mumbai Indians locking horns against each other. CSK and MI are currently at the second and fourth spots respectively in the points table. “It’s like a fresh start” for another tournament. “It’s a unique challenge to have a tournament split in half. So, we just want to start well again but also remembering the work that it took to get a bit of form and to get those wins. It’s all about the mindset, people coming together and almost treating it like a fresh start for another tournament,” Fleming told CSK TV.
“There are guys coming in from the CPL and International cricket and that’s the beauty of the IPL, they come with great experience and tie them all together. I’m really happy with the work that is being done here. I’m looking forward to it,” he added.
When the 48-year-old was asked about how new players have adjusted within the group, he said: “The style of play, the way the new players adjusted into the side and then getting a game plan that suits the players and the balance that we had. So, that was by design…which is always nice when it comes off. The way we batted and the aggressive nature in which we batted and took the opposition on and that was something that was lacking in the first half in Dubai last time. The confidence through that was good and the all-round balance was good to see.”
Talking about rivalry between MI and CSK, Fleming said: “We finished the first half of phase 1 with a loss where Pollard played one of the great IPL innings. Mumbai do play well against us, so we got to keep lifting our standards. From a coaching point of view, you want that game underway so that you know what to work on and just exactly where the team’s at. So, we’re looking forward to it as always and it’s a good encounter.”
Before the IPL season got suspended earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPL was proving to be unlike any other as three teams were storming ahead in the race to reach the playoffs –Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
These three teams are all but certain of reaching the playoffs after cementing the first three spots in the points table. Rishabh Pant-led DC has 12 points from 8 games and the side needs to win two more matches to cement a playoff spot.CSK and RCB have 10 points each from seven games and they need to win three more out of their remaining seven matches to reach the playoff stage.
If there are no surprises, then it is safe to say that the battle will be between five teams to seal the fourth spot in the points table. Currently, defending champions Mumbai Indians hold the fourth spot with eight points while the fifth and sixth-placed Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings have six points each.
Kolkata Knight Riders and SunRisers Hyderabad are at the seventh and eighth places with four and two points respectively and both these teams face an uphill task to reach the playoff stage.