The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) dressing room got emotional while watching their skipper MS Dhoni’s innings on Sunday against the Delhi Capitals in the first Qualifier of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), said coach Stephen Fleming.
Dhoni moved back the years as he scored an unbeaten 18 off six balls to take CSK over the line on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. “It was sincerely incredible for us. We wish him (well) every time he goes out, we know the tension that he is under and the assumptions that is on him each time he goes out and by and by he came up bests for us. We got emotional in the dressing room, that is vital. Yet additionally, the skipper had a chance to do that for us,” said Fleming in the post-match public interview.
Fleming said that he had a ton of discussions with Dhoni before the last went out to bat. “There was a lot of chat. I think we spoke more in these 20 overs than we have for a long time. Just a lot of technical discussion, maneuvering how to work out how it was going to unfold. I’ll tell you what, when the captain gets that look in his eyes and says that he’ll go, it’s been well documented that he has done that, and today was one of those. So, I ain’t holding him back and we saw the result of that,” he said.
Fleming additionally hailed the effect of Robin Uthappa. The 35-year-old, brought into the setup to supplant the struggling Suresh Raina, scored 63 off 44 balls in a 110-run stand with Ruturaj Gaikwad. “We are proud of every performance that a player puts up to help win a game but this one was very special,” said Fleming.
“He has had a long time out and he has been training hard and the opportunity came up. When opportunities are given, we tend to stick with players a bit longer than the rest and he repaid that in bucketloads. Right from the first ball his intent was good and without doubt, that partnership set the game up for us,” he said.