Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming came in defence of skipper MS Dhoni after the latter faced criticism for his 27-ball 18 innings in CSK's loss to Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Tuesday.
Fleming felt Dhoni wasn't the only one who struggled on the day as it is a difficult surface to bat on and added that CSK would have won the match if they scored 10-15 more runs.
"Dhoni was not the only one, it was a difficult day for strokeplay. 137 was almost enough, it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of big shots, both teams struggled with it towards the end of the innings," Fleming said during a virtual post-match press conference. "Sometimes, you set your sights too high, probably we were just 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score."
Playing on a fast-eroding surface, the match saw CSK post 136/5 in the first innings after Ambati Rayudu scored a crucial 43-ball 55* while Axar Patel (2/18) and R Ashwin (1/20) did the good work with the ball for DC.
In reply, DC took the game to the last over for win as Shimron Hetmyer (28* off 18) scored briskly at the end after Shikhar Dhawan (39 off 35) laid the foundation for the chase. Shardul Thakur (2/13) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) shone with the ball for CSK.
Speaking of the pitches in the UAE, Fleming said it has been a challenge to predict how the turf is going to react at different venues; making it difficult for teams to avoid mistakes.
"That is the difficulty at the moment, trying to assess what the conditions are at three different grounds, there was no lack of intent. We had to stabilise after a couple of mistakes. Delhi bowled well in the last five overs, they were really smart," he added.