Stephen Fleming might not have been a big success as a player in the last IPL, but his tactical acumen was praised by one and all in the CSK team management. With Kepler Wessels’ contract not been renewed, Fleming was made the coach-cum-player for this season.
The Kiwi knows his role will be somewhat similar to that of Shane Warne’s in Team Jaipur and he wants to follow in the footsteps of the Aussie legend to help CSK succeed.
“Yes, I want to take a leaf out of Warne’s book. He was fantastic in both roles and it’ll be great if I can do the same,” Fleming said.
Warne, though, played every match last season, which Fleming may not do. “I have played the T20 tournament for Wellington this season and batted pretty well towards the end. I will look to keep myself fit for the IPL and if needed play some matches as well,” the Kiwi said.
But his main job will be to strategise, and Fleming insisted that it will be very important to have a proper plan in place to do well in the tournament.
“The most important thing is to choose the best four for each game. It’s not an easy job, considering that we’ve a great bunch,” he said. He is looking for inputs from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to take a call.
“He is a great captain who’s alive to the situation. We worked well last season and I’m sure it will be the same this time around as well.” While the coach is relieved that Kiwi allrounder Jacob Oram will be available for the tournament (he is playing the New Zealand domestic final that started on Monday), Mike Hussey’s decision to pull out till the semifinals has come as a disappointment.
Talking about the South African players that CSK have in their line-up, Fleming added: “In those conditions, both of them will have a big role to play. Moreover, we’ll also depend on their inputs to take decisions.”
Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan’s decision to have four captains also came up for discussion and Fleming didn’t mince words when he said that it sounds “complicated”.