Pollard played his best IPL innings, says CSK coach Fleming

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New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming admitted that Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard’s knock took the game away from them in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match on Saturday.

Pollard played one of the most memorable innings in the history of the IPL as Mumbai Indians defeated CSK by four wickets here at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Saturday. Pollard remained unbeaten on 87 off just 34 balls as Mumbai gained a four-wicket victory.

“You should probably add 10 to the score, especially against the side like Mumbai Indians having power hitters. We did incredibly well to get below 220. We always felt that in-game like this, the batting and the small ground, the surface, it is sometimes very hard to defend,” said Fleming in a virtual press conference.

“Pollard probably played his best innings in the IPL for a long time. He is an effective player, if you look at the game, he was the mainstay. We did a lot of good things around him, we just couldn’t shut him down. We scored more than 200 and then put pressure on them but we were undone by fine innings in the end,” he added.

Mumbai Indians needed two runs off the last ball and Pollard and Dhawal Kulkarni ensured the side get over the line. 

“Not really (if he was surprised to see the field on the last ball). Pollard is such a good timer of the ball that you never know what he’s going to do,” said Fleming.

“Got so much to win, to be honest, we were looking for something like the stumps being hit or like the result, we had when we got beaten in the (2019) final. So we’ll go have a look over that. I think there are a lot of other instances that we’ll have a look at rather than just the last ball,” he added.

The former New Zealand skipper wants CSK to keep making the most of the middle overs in the upcoming games.

“Mumbai was 81/3 but some fine innings get them out of it. So we are happy we kept pushing hard and we are happy to use our resources. We still had Dhoni, Sam Curran, and Shardul Thakur that didn’t bat. So we really wanna push in those middle overs this year,” said Fleming.

With this win, Mumbai Indians remain at the fourth spot with 8 points. On the other hand, CSK also remains static at the first spot with 10 points. 

CSK will next lock horns with Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday in Delhi.