When The Captain Gets That Look In His Eyes: Fleming On Dhoni’s Super Finish

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Dubai: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said captain MS Dhoni had “the look in his eyes and said I’ll go” before playing a match-winning 18* off 6 balls against Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 in Delhi, taking the team to their ninth IPL final.

“It was emotionally great for us. We wish him (well) every time he goes out, we know the pressure that he has and the expectations that is on him every time he goes out and once again he came up trumps for us. It was emotional in the changing rooms, that’s very important. But also, the captain had an opportunity to do that for us,” Fleming said in the post-match press conference.

“There was a lot of chat. I think we probably spoke more in these 20 overs than we have for a long time. A lot of technical discussion, maneuvering how to work out how it was going to unfold and who was going to make maximum impact. I’ll tell you what, when the captain gets that look in his eyes and said ‘I’ll go’, it’s been well documented that he has done that, and today was one of those. So, I ain’t holding him back and we saw the result of that.”

Fleming lauded Robin Uthappa, who made 63 off 44 balls in the chase of 173.

“We are very proud of every performance that a player puts up to help win a game but this one was very special,” Fleming added. “He has had a long time out and he has been training hard and the opportunity came up. When opportunities are given, we tend to stick with players a bit longer than the rest and he repaid that in bucketloads. Right from the first ball his intent was good and without doubt, that partnership set the game up for us.”

Fleming explained the reason behind sending Shardul Thakur at No. 4.

“It was a really positive move. We were trying to get ahead of the game. Robbie was struggling a little bit. We wanted to continue the aggressive role and take pressure off Ruturaj, and see if we can get 15 or 20 runs in quick time. It would have helped in the back end of the game. It didn’t pay off, but the thinking is positive and in line with how we want to play the game. When you have a lot of resources, some times thinking outside of the square and knowing Shardul wasn’t going to take up any balls, it does two things – maybe just shakes the opposition and shows that we’re willing to use resources from the camp.”

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