Chennai: Title holders Chennai Super Kings are far better placed than the other nine teams in the Indian Premier League 2011 as they have retained their core group of players, coach Stephen Fleming said on Thursday.
The former New Zealand captain, speaking to the media here on the eve of the tournament opener, contended that since the Super Kings squad has not undergone any major changes, the team does enjoy an advantage over the other nine in IPL-4.
"There has been a lot of talk and discussion on how the teams are on paper. We are happy to get a majority of the players who were with us in the past three seasons.
"And so, we can possibly get into the system straightaway as a majority of the players know what to expect. It is better than starting from scratch," he said.
On Friday's opening game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Fleming said the Super Kings were yet to decide on the opening partner for Murali Vijay, but they had plenty of options.
"We have a number of options to look at and we are fairly well settled with the top seven batsmen," he said.
The Super Kings are more or less at full strength with the exception of West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger, middle-order batsman Mike Hussey and all-rounder George Bailey, all of whom are expected to join the squad at a later date.
"We have enough foreign talent going into the first match. Players coming in at different times give us good momentum," Fleming said.
South Africans Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis, Sri Lankans Nuwan Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv, and New Zealanders Scott Styris and Tim Southee have joined the squad, according to the coach.
When asked about the IPL immediately following the ICC Cricket World Cup, Fleming felt that the euphoria and excitement should flow into the T20 tournament.
"Yes, the World Cup generated a lot of enthusiasm and euphoria among the people and I expect good support for the Indian players," he said.