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IPL 2019: CSK coach Stephen Fleming satisfied with the quality of Indian players in the squad

"We value all the players in the squad."

MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming and skipper MS Dhoni during a practice session in Mohali. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 like defending champions should be doing. After defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on home turf in the tournament opener, they clawed their way back against Delhi Capitals (DC) to win the match comfortably. Captain MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming are leading the pack like well-oiled machines.

An interesting fact is that in both the matches, CSK have fielded only three overseas players, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, and Dwayne Bravo. Despite having the likes of Faf du Plessis, Sam Billings and Mitchell Santner in their ranks, CSK have relied on their Indian players to do the job, which they have. CSK head coach Stephen Fleming has justified that decision saying the team is looking for balance.

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Fleming happy with the Indian players in the squad

“We value all the players in the squad – not as overseas or local players. Looking at the squad and skills is not based on overseas versus Indian. Harbhajan Singh was a great option for the left-handed combinations that we faced in the first two games. And that can change if you face a lot of right-handers, you’ve got Mitchell Santner there. But you don’t have to play four overseas.

Whilst in the past you’ve picked overseas players that fit into your side, we’re really happy with the quality of Indian players that we have and that’s why we tend to talk about the abilities in the squad rather than if you’re an overseas player or an Indian player. We rate the players that we pick and those two sides were based on the best balance we thought would win the game,” Fleming was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

The CSK pace attack got a bit light with an injury to Lungi Ngidi and David Willey pulling out of the tournament. But the Super Kings possess Indian fast bowlers like Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, and KM Asif.

Fleming, who played for CSK in IPL 2008, said that the side still has Mohit Sharma, who is recovering from a fitness injury and they have got a good replacement for Ngidi in Scott Kuggeleijn, who has got the pace and the velocity, which can work for the Kings. But keeping in mind the pitches they are playing on and their spinners’ performances, he feels pace is not something necessary for them at this moment.

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