Many critics have questioned about CSK’s tactics to go for older players in the auction of 2018. But so far they have defied expectations by grabbing four wins in five games.
VIVO IPL 2018: We are here to win the IPL, not to develop young players, says Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming, who had been CSK’s head coach from the very beginning, have rubbished concerns regarding his team’s average age and went to explain the importance of valuing experience and his focus on winning the trophy.
“They’re 35-36, not 55-56. A massive amount has been made of it,” Fleming said in a press conference on Wednesday (April 24). “I’m not here to develop young players, I’m here to try and win the competition for the franchise. And that’s why we value experience, because we think that gives us the best chance,” he added.
CSK’s smart squad selection have given them much success as played six finals in eight years and won two of them. They even bagged the Champions League T20 twice, a tournament that was scrapped after the 2014 edition.
This year they retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja and used RTM option for Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis. They mainly fought for older players like Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir.
Fleming has pointed at the performances of Watson, Gayle, Bravo and Dhoni this season. They are all experienced, have played well and proved that age is just a number.
“I’ll go back to the fact that experienced and professional players dominate a big part of the IPL. Chris Gayle has come back, playing very well. Obviously, Shane Watson and his 100 so far… Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni… These guys still have a lot of cricket to play.
“Yes, it is exciting to see young players come and perform. But over a long season, I look for consistency and professionalism. I’ve found that older players who are still motivated, still fit and still committed, they can provide you consistency that gets you up around mid to top table, which allows you to progress in the competition,” Fleming noted.