With Gautam Gambhir questioning Virat Kohli’s tactical ability in the lead-up to the latest edition of the IPL - a tournament Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore have never won - Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has leapt to the defence of the India and RCB captain, saying there are a “number of things” that go towards winning the IPL.
Gambhir, who won two IPL trophies as captain for Kolkata Knight Riders, said Kohli should be thankful that his IPL franchise hasn’t sacked him as captain despite his continued failure to win them a title. But the former New Zealand skipper Fleming, under whom CSK have won three titles, said “one man doesn’t win the IPL”.
"One man doesn't win the IPL. It's a tough competition to win. It's getting tougher because teams are a lot smarter. Players are conditioned to playing in the IPL. Coaches and managers are getting more shrewd in how they buy and put together teams," Fleming said.
"So just because you're probably the best batter in the world, probably one of the best players in the world, it doesn't mean he's going to have success in the IPL.
"There's a number of things that go towards it. One thing I do know is that when there's a challenge put in front of him, he meets it.”
Fleming said losing fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is a big blow for CSK. Ngidi suffered a side strain during an ODI against Sri Lanka earlier this month and has been advised four weeks of rest.
"Ngidi is a big loss. He was the find last year for us, he bowled really well. We got a squad that can cover his absence. But sometimes players are a little bit special. The onus is on the other overseas options. We are taking our time on his replacement at the moment,” he said.
CSK will face RCB in their opening game of the IPL 2019 on March 23 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
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