Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways as the side defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs in IPL 2020 on Tuesday. After putting 167/6 on the board, the CSK held Hyderabad to 147/8 in 20 overs.
Sam Curran opened the batting for the Super Kings, which came as a surprise to many. Curran had played cameos for the CSK in this campaign with the bat, but it was the first time when he was given the responsibility to play as a batsman in the side.
Talking about the move, CSK coach Stephen Fleming said that they wanted to tweak with the combination because the nature of their defeats was becoming "too familiar."
"We had Sam padded up for every innings. We thought that rather than getting clogged up, we should be certain about Sam and put him on the front. Put the onus on the batting group instead of shuffling it. We wanted to do something different because our losses were becoming too familiar," Fleming said in the post-match press conference.
Talking about the reason behind sending Watson at three, Fleming said, "Shane has got a lot of experience. He is very well equipped to take on the attack in second half of powerplay or later. Faf is very good at going over the top early, while Shane has more of a power game."
The CSK coach also said that there were "apprehensive" about the total at first, but added that the pitches are getting slower as the tournament progresses. "It was nice to bat first. It was the first time we batted first and we won. We were a bit apprehensive but it was in line with most scores, as the tracks are getting slower," said Fleming.
CSK decided to play an extra bowler in Piyush Chawla in the game - a move which paid off for the side. Fleming explained that their bowling attack is "fluid."
"Our bowling attack is fluid. It's just a case of taking batter out and have a bowler. MS was comfortable with extra bowler as we felt it (pitch) might slow down. As it turned out, he (Chawla) only bowled one over but it was a good over. It was positive rather than having an extra batter," said the former New Zealand captain.
The CSK head coach also hailed Sam Curran's contributions for the side so far.
"[His contribution is] Very high. With Bravo, we have a lot of options but we just can't capitalize on it at the moment. In terms of his contribution so far, he succeeded in what we want. He is very competitive, he has risen to every challenge. He has given a glimpse of what he can give to us in future," said Fleming.