Hyderabad: It was a case of slip between cup and lip for Chennai Super Kings. Coach Stephen Fleming said they were unfortunate to be on the wrong side of the final against eventual champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL final on Sunday.
“There was lot of emotions. Nine runs off the last over. It was great over in the final, two off the last ball but a crafty ‘old fox’ like Malinga bowled a great delivery. It was a great over (20th) in the final but we were on the wrong side of it. We can go back and look at so many different scenarios,’’ said Fleming after the match. The coach said that (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni’s run out was a big moment.”It took a long time to give the decision. Obviously it was pretty close. It will always be a great moment when Dhoni goes. He had a great season. His batting was very consistent because of his calmness. He operates at a different level. 150 is never small total in the final. It was there for taking but we could not take it.’’
The former New Zealand captain admitted that the team had scrappy season with the bat. “The batting has been weak part this season. We have a lot of work to do. We had a good start but we lost our way. It was pretty good performance from (Shane) Watson to keep us in the game. It was a difference of one or two balls and that happened today (Sunday).
“There were great overs in the middle overs. To give back in the contest was great but fell short again. Malinga went for lot of runs in the previous over. He changed tactics and delivered it under pressure. It was so close. There were dropped catches on either side.’’
Fleming added that they had missed important bowlers like fast bowler Lungisani Ngidi and others but other bowlers took the opportunity. “Our bowling was great. We had concerns about the injuries. Ngidi was a big loss. So was David Willey. Sam Billings was not 100 per cent fit. We were short in options. But the bowlers took the opportunity very well. Deepak Chahar had a good season last year and he was excellent this season. Imran Tahir at the age of 40 was an inspiration to our side. Harbhajan was very good. Jadeja. I was impressed but we were just not able to get the rhythm with the batting. But again losing the final by off the last ball, I can’t take too many complaints.’’ According to Fleming, Dhoni was the key figure to the franchise. “There is pretty good fan following for MS Dhoni. He is without doubt the key figure to the franchise, the way he plays the game and the way he treats people. We have great support in Chennai but in the country it is phenomenal.’’
Fleming also said there they had an ageing side and they need to look at the balance of side for the next season. ”We have time to settle down We do understand it is an ageing side and at some point, we need to look at it and be little more creative. There is a lot of talent established in other sides. We need to get the balance right and look at the right areas where we need to improve. We had a successful season even though we were little flat.”