Fleming: This season is going to be very different tactically


Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming says that the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League will be like none that have come before.

Fleming believes reading the surfaces and adapting to the conditions will be crucial in this year’s IPL where there are effectively no home games.

No real home ground advantage here

Just three venues, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will play host to matches this year after the tournament was moved out of India with the country struggling to contain the coronavirus.

“This season is going to be very different tactically,” Fleming told the Chennai Super Kings website

“With no real home ground advantage here, we’ve got to be very good at adapting to the conditions in each ground. We’ve got three different grounds (Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi) to assess and each ground has its own character and nuances, and we’ve just got to be good enough to pick the right team and get the right game plan to match that. It’s like every game is an away game.”

Picking the right side a challenge

Fleming conceded that a lack of preparation time will make selection for the tournament opener tricky.

The coach said it will be vital that they get the balance of the side correct and coming into the match in Abu Dhabi without having trained makes that even more challenging.

“It’s one of the challenges of having to travel to Abu Dhabi – we’ve got to have to be very good on the day to have to assess the wicket and pick the right combination,” Fleming said. “One of the big challenges for IPL teams is to get the combinations right.

“There are a lot of skillful players that make the side, but there are also a lot of skillful players that don’t. Picking the right side for the right conditions is one of the great challenges and we’ve got a good record at that. But I must admit, going to Abu Dhabi without seeing the wicket or assessing the conditions is going to be one of the big challenges to start with.”

CSK face Mumbai Indians on Saturday 19 September with the match starting at 15:00 (BST).