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IPL 2022: Not making the playoffs catalyst for next year, says CSK head coach Stephen Fleming


Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming said the 4-time champions suffered from ‘catastrophic success’ in IPL 2022, adding that they struggled to get going with a new set-up after the mega auction. CSK finished their campaign with just 4 wins and missed out on the playoffs berth for the 2nd time in 3 years.

Stephen Fleming rued that CSK missed a couple of in-form players at the start of the season who could have got the team going and helped the youngsters believe in the side and the process.

CSK, who were the 2nd team after Mumbai Indians to be eliminated, finished their campaign with a 5-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals on Friday in Mumbai. Despite Moeen Ali smashing a 19-ball fifty which he converted to a 57-ball 93, CSK managed just 150 on the board.

Rajasthan Royals rode on Yashasvi Jaiswal’s fifty and a cameo from R Ashwin to take them past the finish line and hand CSK their 8th defeat of the season.

“When you start a new cycle, when you have a number of new players. It can be testing,” Stephen Fleming told the press after CSK’s last league game.

“We suffered from catastrophic success. So just trying to play the same way and continue on for my last four years which were very successful is a real challenge. So dropping back and understanding what new players can do can take a little bit of time,” he added.

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CSK have seen plenty of success since their return to the league in 2018. Under MS Dhoni, CSK won the title in 2018, reached the final in 2019 and won the title again in 2020.

Chennai quickly recovered from their setback in 2020 wherein they missed the playoffs berth for the first time and went on to win the title in the UAE despite not making wholesale changes to an aging squad.

FLEMING HOPEFUL OF STRONG COMEBACK

CSK had on-field issues as Dhoni’s decision to hand over the captaincy baton to Ravindra Jadeja did not work as their title defence got off to a horror start. CSK slipped to 6 defeats on the trot and had just 4 points from 8 matches when Jadeja decided to step down as captain and hand over the reigns back to Dhoni.

“What we didn’t have was a couple of form players that got us through those early days. So you get a couple of wins and then you get a little bit of evidence that the team’s on the right track and then the young players get a bit of confidence from the senior players doing well. So that’s the cycle. We had a slow start and we just weren’t able to string enough games together,” Fleming said.

The CSK head coach believes that the 4-time champions will be able to bounce back strong from the setback. Notably, Dhoni confirmed on Friday that he will play on for CSK in IPL 2023.

“We had opportunities. There’s no doubt we had opportunities to do better than what we did. But the reality is we weren’t good enough to make the semi-finals this year, and that’s always a catalyst for next year,” he added.



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