IPL 2019: Stephen Fleming against 'overly' focussing on Andre Russell

"We have to look at the real context of the game."

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming. (Photo: IANS)

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When Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming came to address the media before the heavyweight showdown against table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the focus was Andre Russell and the reasons are pretty obvious. Russell has become the talk of the town due to his scarcely believable batting exploits this season. In just five games so far, he has hit a staggering 22 sixes to amass over 200 runs in just 77 deliveries. The Jamaican has scored at an average of over 100 and a strike-rate of almost 185.

In his last outing, Russell had singlehandedly took Knight Riders to a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Chasing an improbable 206, the Knight Riders were reeling at 153 for 5, needing 53 from the last three overs. However, Russell slammed 7 sixes and a four during his 13-ball stay to take the Knight Riders over the line with five balls remaining. No surprises then that every team would put special emphasis on how to stop the all-rounder.

However, for Fleming and Super Kings, Russell is not garnering too much attention. Fleming insisted that the defending champions will not devote their full time in just focusing on Russell as he said the team is focusing on other Knight Riders’ players too.

“You know the other six they got are good — Lynn, Uthappa, Karthik and we need to be careful that we don’t overly focus on Russell who is dynamic. There is good work done by other players also and that doesn’t change our preparation to focus on one or two players. We are acutely aware how dangerous these players are but the business is as usual for us and how we go around things gives us a good chance,” Stephen Fleming told the media on the eve of the clash.

“We have to look at the real context of the game and match up with the analysis that we have (of Russell). The pressure is always during the last overs and we are up against a good side and it still doesn’t change our preparations as we continue to do the same things,” Fleming explained.

Fleming, nonetheless, should remain cautious as the last time Knight Riders had visited Chennai, Russell had blasted 88 from just 36 deliveries with 11 six although it eventually went in vain.

Not much reliance on data:

The modern day game has seen teams relying heavily on date and other digital inputs to prepare for games. However, Fleming said the Super Kings had moved away from too much of analysis and data.

“We’ve gone a long way away from that. A lot of teams are loading up on analysis and numbers and we’ve actually gone away from that. Sometimes, information overload can be confusing. So, we’re really trying to simplify it and make sure that the time we spend together is meaningful and understood,” he said.

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