IPL 2021: Stephen Fleming not sweating over MS Dhoni’s form

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While the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsmen managed to post a high total (188-9) without any big individual score against Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, skipper MS Dhoni’s form remains a cause for concern.

Dhoni, 39, who came in at No. 7, needed 17 balls for his 18 runs that included two fours. The former India skipper got a duck in CSK’s IPL-14 opener against Delhi Capitals and did not get a chance to bat against Punjab Kings thereafter.

However, when mid-day asked CSK head coach Stephen Fleming about his captain’s form, he did not sound worried.  “Dhoni’s form is restoring, every time he gets some balls in the middle he’s going to get better and better,” Fleming said at the post-match virtual conference on Monday night.

Dhoni, who has 4,650 runs under his belt from 207 IPL games, scored just 200 runs in 14 matches at the tournament’s last edition. CSK have won two of their three games in IPL-14 so far, and Fleming felt that Dhoni could be promoted up the order as the tournament progresses. 

“One of our toughest challenges is managing the [batting] order because we have so many resources. But there will be opportunities where we would probably look to throw him [Dhoni] up as with [Ravindra] Jadeja. At the moment, we are just trying to be a solid order and look at what the conditions provide us in terms of how we can attack. We haven’t put together a perfect innings by any means but the skipper will be a big part of it going forward,” added Fleming.

Faf du Plessis (33 off 17 balls, 4×4, 2×6) top scored for CSK in their 45-run win over RR. Other key contributors with the bat were Ambati Rayudu (27), Moeen Ali (26) and Dwayne Bravo (eight-ball 20 not out). 

Among the bowlers, CSK off-spinner Moeen was brilliant with 3-7 off three overs.

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