CSK Coach Fleming Explains Why Curran Opened & Watson Batted at 3

VIDEO: CSK Coach Stephen Fleming explains why Sam Curran opened for CSK and Shane Watson came at number 3.

Updated
IPL
2 min read

For the first time this IPL 2020, MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first during an evening game. However, there was another ‘first’ unveiled by CSK when their openers came out to bat in the game against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Walking out alongside Faf du Plessis wasn't Shane Watson, but English all-rounder Sam Curran. The experiment only worked for Curran as he ended up scoring 31 off 21 balls but Faf got out on a first-ball duck. Watson, however, came out to bat at number three and added a vital 42 runs to the team’s total as they ended up posting 167/6 in their 20 overs.

After the game, CSK coach Stephen Fleming was asked about the switch at the top and here’s what he said:

“The decision was borne out of a need to do something different because the trends of out losses were becoming too familiar so we just wanted to get Sam in the game, his training has been great, and just provide a little bit of momentum at the front.”
Stephen Fleming, Coach - CSK

But once it was decided that Sam would open, how did the team management decide which of the regular openers would come at one down? Fleming explained that the decision was made based on what Faf and Shane bring to the table.

“Just in terms of experience, Shane’s got a lot of it. And maybe the swinging ball... if we could combat that and have Shane take the attack to the second half of the Powerplay, or later, then he’s very well equipped to do that. Faf is very good at doing over the top fo the field early, whereas Shane’s got a more of a power game which suits going into the next phase of the innings,” said the CSK coach.

After the 20 run win over SRH that helped CSK move to 6th in the IPL standings, MS Dhoni too was all praise for Curran who bowled 3 overs during the second innings, picking the vital wicket of David Warner and conceding just 18 runs.

"He is a complete cricketer for us. You need a seaming all-rounder. He strikes the ball nicely, he can bat up the order, plays the spinners well," said Dhoni in the post-match presentation ceremony.

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