Raipur: Keen to see Chennai Super Kings make their sixth IPL final, team coach Stephen Fleming yesterday said that the top-order needs to fire in the second T20 cricket qualifier against Royal Challengers Bangalore, here today.
Stephen Fleming. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
CSK lost to Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier but have another chance of booking their final clash with the Rohit Sharma-led side if they get past the RCB hurdle. Fleming insists that the top-four batsmen should come good to make things happen for the two-time champions.
"Our batsmen are getting out at the wrong time. We are losing more wickets than we have lost in the previous IPL seasons. So we are seeing lots of batsmen having to play innings of substance when all we need is for our top four or five to get the majority of runs," Fleming told iplt20.com.
"That has probably been the difference this year as compared to other years we have fallen short on top-order runs. We have a chance of rectifying that now and we have a very good top-order to do that," he added.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side ended the league at the top of the table with opener Brendon McCullum as their leading run-scorer. But Fleming opines, batsmen other than McCullum have been inconsistent in their showing.
"Except for Brendon McCullum, who scored 400-plus runs, all our other batsmen are down from where they usually would be. We want our entire batting order to fire today.
Bowling, on the whole, I think has done pretty well," he said. The former New Zealand captain is also aware of RCB's destructive batsman AB de Villiers' ability to take the game away from any attack. Fleming cautions his bowlers tobe spot on against de Villiers.
"You can make as many plans as you like but he (de Villiers) is such a good player. He is the world's best player and against him, you have got to hold your nerve, have a bit of courage and also be ready to take the opportunity when it comes by.
You cannot give him two bites at the cherry and have to be absolutely on the mark from ball one," said the 42-year-old.
"Virat (Kohli) will look to bat through and he is a wonderful player. But AB is certainly the guy who will take the game away from you," he added.