Sent Curran as opener to give us momentum at the top: Fleming


DUBAI (UAE): After registering a 20-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming said that Sam Curran was sent as an opener in order to give the side momentum at the start of their innings.
David Warner-led Sunrisers failed to chase down the target of 168 and were restricted to 147/8. For SRH, Kane Williamson top-scored with 57, while for CSK, Karn Sharma and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets each.
Batting first, CSK posted a total of 167/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Shane Watson top-scored for the MS Dhoni-led side with a knock of 42 runs. For this match, CSK changed its opening partnership, and the management sent in Curran instead of Watson to accompany Faf du Plessis.
“We have had Sam padded up for pretty much every innings looking to inject him at a certain time. So we thought rather than getting clogged up and take one batting resource out, put him at the top of the order. We put the honours on the batting lineup rather than hiding and shuffling,” said Fleming during the post-match press conference.
“That was the main reason behind sending Curran up the order. The trends of our losses were becoming similar. so we needed to do something different. We just wanted to get Sam in the game. His training has been great and the decision was taken to give us momentum at the top.
“Well, it was nice to bat first. It was the first time we batted first (this season), so we were not sure how we will go about it. We are so used to chasing and we were a little bit apprehensive. Our score was in line with the current scores in this tournament. Tracks are getting a little bit slower and they are turning, so we knew if we get Warner, (Jonny) Bairstow, and Williamson out cheaply, we have a good score (to defend),” he added.
Besides Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Curran got among the runs for CSK with knocks of 41 and 31 respectively. In the end, Ravindra Jadeja played a cameo of 25 runs off just 10 balls. For SRH, Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with figures of 2-19 from his four overs.
“The first decision was made to put Sam in. It meant that one from Shane or Faf had to move. Just in terms of experience, Shane was a lot of it, so he is very well equipped to take the attack in the second half of the innings. Faf is very good in going over the top early and Shane has a power game, which is good for the latter part of the innings,” said Fleming.
For this match against SRH, CSK made one change to their lineup, bringing in Piyush Chawla in place of Jagadeesan.
Talking about this change, Fleming said: “Well, we have got some challenges around the balance of our squad which we are trying to work through. In terms of playing the extra spinner against SRH, we felt that the move was positive. If tracks continue to get slower, we have introduced another leg-spinner. We are just trying to find our way around this competition. Wins are important but the method in which we do it, we still need to improve,” the New Zealander added.
CSK will next take on Delhi Capitals on October 17 while SRH will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders on October 18.
SRH are in fifth place in the points table currently and CSK are in the sixth position.


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