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Dhoni’s Absence Creates A Hole Which Is Quite Big Says Stephen Fleming

The home team, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a massive 46-run hammering at the hands of the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 67-run knock and Hardik Pandya-Kieron Pollard explosive finish touch helped the visitors reach a fighting total on a pretty challenging wicket. While chasing a stiff target of 156 runs, CSK got bundled out for a paltry total of 109 runs.

He has been a constant for so many years

CSK regular skipper MS Dhoni missed the encounter last night due to fever and for the second successive time in his absence this season, his team felt his absence to a great extent. CSK head coach Stephen Fleming addressed the media reporters during the post-match press conference and mentioned that everytime someone like Dhoni, who has been a CSK constant over the years, is not around, things don’t seem to be happening. Fleming noted that Dhoni’s absence as a leader is something which creates big holes which are almost impossible to be filled.

“Dhoni is a great leader and a great player, so whenever you take him out of your side and he has been a constant for us for so many years, you just get into the rhythm of having him there. When you take a leader like that out, there are going to be some holes to fill and it’s not that we are not trying to fill it, just that the hole is quite big,” quoted Stephen Fleming.

Fleming further mentioned that whenever someone like Dhoni is not available, it takes a mammoth effort to lift the team. “It takes a mammoth effort to lift the team up when you have your best player unavailable. But we are good enough to do that,” he added.

The performances have been well below-par

The CSK head coach also admitted to the fact that on both the occasions when Dhoni didn’t played,  the performances have been well below-par. Fleming stated that Dhoni brings in that comfort factor in the team. However, he noted that there are many good players, who have the experience to tackle the pressure situations.

“The two games we played without Dhoni, the performances have been well below par. There is comfort when he is there, but he didn’t bat in the last game. I think the players are good enough and have experience and that’s the key when we have situations which don’t go our way,” Fleming concluded.