Durban: Andrew Flintoff may not have justified his USD 1.55 million price tag but the star England all-rounder, forced out of the Indian Premier League due to injury, was a "good influence" on the Chennai Super Kings, according to coach Stephen Fleming.
"He bowled very well for us in the second game. But AB de Villiers had his day. He (Flintoff) has been a good influence as well. It's such a fine line between having a good day and a bad day," Fleming said.
Flintoff had to withdraw from the tournament due to a knee injury, which would require surgery. The all-rounder, costliest in IPL along with England teammate Kevin Pietersen, could not live up to the pre-tournament hype during his very short stint with the team.
But Fleming is not complaining. "We are not going to get carried away. Flintoff is one of the great all-round players certainly I have seen. So, no concerns there," he told the IPL's official website.
Fleming, who has no previous experience in coaching, said he has settled into his new job and though the challenges of being a coach are different, he has not found it tough to adapt.
"The change hasn't been too much because I still have the playing aspect of my game if any of the boys get injured or lose some form. I still have the playing aspect. So the coaching side of things is great," he said.
"I am lucky that I have a good management team around me to help me out. As far as the practice and the skill side of things, confident that I know enough having been around enough to provide that. We have got a great work ethic and that's very good. So we are a happy camp," he added.
On opener Matthew Hayden's brilliant form, Fleming joked, "Well he has been surfing really well. His surfing form has carried over to his batting form."
"A relaxed Matthew Hayden and in good form is very good company and good for the side. It's an example of how you can have a different approach to cricket without slogging yourself in the nets. And he has certainly provided a leadership role in that," he added.
Asked how long he would continue being Chennai's coach, Fleming quipped, "If I keep losing, it probably won't not be much longer. I kind of hope to be around for a while. I joined IPL and to be able to finish the latter part of my career doing this...am very lucky.
"So if we can get some wins. And I will be pleading with the team for the next few games to try and get some a few wins, so I can stay a lot longer."