Fleming in Super Kings squad against Knight Riders

April 25th, 2008 - 4:30 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 25 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings have named Kiwi Stephen Fleming in their 16-member squad ahead of their home game against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament here Saturday. Fleming has replaced local boy and former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth’s son Anirudha Srikkanth in the squad.

The lone change also triggered speculation on the likelihood of a reshuffle in the playing XI that would be finalised Saturday morning after an inspection of the pitch.

While seeking to downplay the hype around the game that is being billed as a “blockbuster”, Super Kings coach Kepler Wessels asserted that each of the 14 league matches (seven home and seven away) was crucial for the side.

“It is too early to say whether this is a big match, but for us each of the 14 games is crucial. They are all big and tough encounters,” Wessels told reporters here Friday.

On the Super Kings’ lack of depth in bowling attack, the coach said: “Hopefully, our bowling will improve at the death.”

Earlier in the week, the Super Kings narrowly escaped defeat against Mumbai Indians at the same venue when the visitors, chasing a target of 209, fell short by just six runs.

Dwelling on the departure of the Australian players, Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey, after their away game against Bangalore Royal Challengers next week, Wessels said their absence would be sufficiently made up with the arrival of South Africans Makhaya Ntini and Albie Morkel.

Super Kings middle-order batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, who was with Wessels at the press conference, said a team needed to score a minimum of 200 runs and above to ensure victory in the inaugural Twenty20 league.

“It is tough to chase a target above 200 runs and I think that is the minimum one must score if one hopes to win a game in the IPL,” he said.

On the prospects of facing young Knight Riders’ pace sensation Ishant Sharma, Badrinath said: “He can bowl only four overs, and if I get a chance to face him, I will be playing my natural game.”

“I have put in a lot of effort in my batting and I have been trying out difficult shots. I hope to improve further,” said Badrinath, who has been in the national reckoning for a while now.

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