New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming Monday attributed the team’s success in the ongoing edition of the IPL to playing “smart cricket" and called skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni the best finisher in international cricket at the moment.
“We have been quite smart this edition of the IPL. We came up with some good performances. Some of the things which we have done this year were to learn from our mistakes made previous year. We would like to see our performance getting better as the tournament nears its end," Fleming told reporters at a pre-match press conference.
“A lot of focus will be on stepping up our performance and some of our players have proved to be big match players. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the number one in the world in terms of producing performances for the team when it really matters. We have Michael Hussy, Suresh Raina and Dhoni to do the job for us," he said.
Chennai Super Kings will clash with Mumbai Indians here Tuesday in a ‘Battle of Equals’ in the first play-off match. Fleming said CSK hold an advantage against MI as they are coming into the match on the back of a three-day break.
“It’s a big game tomorrow as both the sides make up for the big match. The advantage of playing tomorrow is that we had two-three days off which was very appealing at this point of the tournament. Rather than travel and play, you get rest days. We would love to win here and book ourselves a place in the final," he said.
Fleming refused to buy the perception that Mumbai Indians have a psychological advantage having beaten CSK in both ‘home and away’ games. “You can’t really say that. MI are the most consistent team to have qualified for the play-off than anyone else but if you can’t really think on that day, I don’t think so."
Fleming said all the franchises depend a lot on their top-order batsmen. “You depend a lot on your top 3-4 batsmen. Our top order has helped us in reaching the play-offs. The way Hussey is playing, it’s fantastic. Suresh Raina also enjoyed good period of play and both have combined well for us," he said.