Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming on Sunday sought to defend the team’s bowlers after a four-wicket defeat to Punjab Kings in their IPL 2023 match here and said the likes of Tushar Deshpande and Akash Singh were doing a pretty good job.
“Not really. The boys have done well. You have to acknowledge (Tushar) Desphande, Akash Singh. They are leading the attack, a tough ask. On a wicket that was getting better with a little bit of dew, it was always going to be tough,” Fleming said at the post-match press conference.
Fleming admitted that Punjab Kings has a lot of big hitters and taking wickets and holding their nerve became important.
“You can find a lot of things to be critical. But you have to be realistic. Really good batting, some power batting from their hitters. It is a high pressure game and tough on bowlers at the moment,” Fleming said.
Deshpande bowled the 16th over during the Punjab run-chase, in which he conceded 24 runs, which proved to be crucial in the final analysis. Punjab scored the required three runs off the last ball.
The CSK coach said the total of 200 was a very competitive one but the team could have scored more.
“We could have got a few more. The last four overs weren’t as productive as we would have liked. Any time you cross 200, we were well and truly in the game. The Impact Player has pushed totals up a little bit. Still a very competitive score,” he added.
On fellow New Zealander Devon Conway who has been in impressive form and scored 92 not out on Sunday, Fleming said, “Yeah, impressive. He just finds a way, doesn’t he. He doesn’t always look that good on the eye and other times he looks exquisite. He is just a player that finds a way. He has a game, he has a good strike rate, we are really happy with Devon’s contribution. Certainly the rock of the innings, we could bat around him.”
Fleming praised Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma, who played a crucial hand in his side’s win, and said, “Jitesh has been very impressive. He is a very good striker of the ball. Quality stroke-playing right through the innings… Pretty tough on the bowlers. The new rule is good on batters but is making it tough for bowlers,” he added.
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