Stephen Fleming - the man behind CSK's success

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
Published: Monday, May 30, 2011, 14:08 [IST]
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Fleming: How good a coach he is?

Bangalore, May 30: Now that the dust has settled after the euphoria over Chennai Super King's second consecutive IPL Champions title, there is one man in the outfit who has never been in the limelight this entire season and yet has managed to add much to himself. Speaking about backroom boys, Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach is as good as it gets and his record with the side speaks for that - two IPL titles accompanied by a Champions League crown.

So, what is it about him that has ensured that CSK remain as the team to beat in the Indian Premier Leagues. Clearly, the first thing that comes in to mind is his rapport with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Does that ring a bell about MSD's chemistry with former India coach Gary Kirsten and the astounding success it brought to the Indian cricket team.

Clearly, the coach-captain relation is the most important one to any team's success. An uneasy relation between the two most important persons in a team can only prove detrimental to the team's success. And it seems Fleming alongwith Dhoni have realised the importance of camaderie between a captain and coach.

Fleming, during his playing days was considered the best captain around. That was significant because at his disposal was no team full of match-winners, but he coerced them strategically in to a lethal unit that could always dole out a killer blow to the opposition. He has surely retained his cricketing acumen that is in a way helping out the CSK team and Dhoni in particular to chalk out strategies for each and every opposition.

Fleming was a very fine cricketer, but he also realises that it is the player who are stars and any attempt to hog the limelight can only brew among his players a sense of insecurity. He has had his share of the glory during his playing days, and now as a coach, he needs to give his wards a chance to carve out a niche for themselves. It is this approach of his, which has always ensured that fringe players like R Ashwin and Shadab Jakati, get due credit from the media after every match-winning effort.

There is also his inexperience as a coach that plays a very important role in bringing him the success he has enjoyed so far in that role. A lack of experience means, he is always open to players who love to bounce across ideas to him, and he using his vast experience as a player judges and implements the best ones. In another way, his lack of experience also ensures that he arrives without any baggage of pre-conceived notions and is thus not reluctant to go for fresher and untried strategies. Though the risks of failure are high, but with the players that he has at his disposal, it is more often than not that he succeeds.

His inexperience as a coach, media-shy image, great record as a player, rapport with the skipper of his side are some similarities that he shares with Garry Kirsten and thus it shouldn't be a surprise that he enjoys similar success as the South African.

OneIndia Cricket

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