Despite the the bowlers suffering Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard’s wrath in the last two overs and the batsmen being tied down by an immaculate Mumbai Indians’ attack, the most disappointing aspect of Chennai Super Kings’ 37-run loss on Wednesday night was its fielding.
With a host of players either at the fag end or in the latter half of their career, the Super Kings team has been billed as ‘dad’s army.’ As a result, nobody expects the defending champion to be supremely athletic. But on Wednesday, it was disappointing to see the team make elementary errors in the field, including a reprieve to Krunal Pandya and a dropped catch, off a free hit to Pollard, which resulted in an extra run.
“We’re never going to be great [as a fielding group]; we know that. We can see that. It’s one of the downsides of maybe having athletes who are a bit older. But we’re okay with that,” head coach Stephen Fleming said after the team’s first loss of the season.
Need to be sharp
“Usually our catching has been very good. Today, what I was disappointed with was a couple of things that we measure off the ball. I thought we were a little bit placid with the movement around the field. We have to be at our best. We’ll address that. It’s often a barometer to pressure.”
Besides the dropped chances, many Super Kings fielders made a mess of a few regulation stops, thus leaking at least 10 extra runs in the field.
“We’ve just not been completely tuned into what’s needed to be done. We have to be at our absolute best if we have to compete in the field because we have limitations, but up until now we’ve been pretty good,” Fleming said.
“For the majority of this innings we were good; we just made some clumsy errors, which we can tidy up. But we’re not going to be one of the best fielding sides in the competition.”
Come Saturday and the Super Kings will be hoping to rectify the errors at Chepauk, against Kings XI Punjab.