IPL 2020: CSK coach Stephen Fleming reveals thinking behind Sam Curran opening for CSK vs SRH

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Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming said their decision to send Sam Curran to open the innings in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday was influenced by their decision to make the optimum use of their batting resources without getting clogged up.

Stephen Fleming conceded that Chennai Super Kings' losses were becoming too familiar and they wanted to add some momentum at the top by sending in Sam Curran to open the batting. MS Dhoni won the toss and it gave CSK the cushion to experiment and they dropped Shane Watson to No. 3 to accommodate the England all-rounder at the top.

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The move paid off as Sam Curran, despite taking time to settle down on a slow Dubai wicket, went after Khaleel Ahmed in the powerplay and provided the impetus that CSK were looking for at the top. The left-hander made 31 off jut 21 balls, hitting 2 sixes and 3 boundaries as Chennai had the early momentum despite losing Faf du Plessis for a golden duck.

"We have had Sam padded up every time, looking to inject him into the innings but wickets have fallen. Rather than getting clogged up with probably too much batting resource, we thought we would be certain about Sam, put him up in front and see how he goes. That was the main reason," Fleming said.

"It was born out of our need to do something different because the trends of our losses were getting too familiar. So we needed to get Sam in the game and provide a little bit of momentum at the front."

'Sam Curran has exceeded expectations'

Fleming said Curran had been desperate to contribute with the bat and Tuesday's knock showed CSK a glimpse of what the all-rounder could for the side in the future.

"In terms of his contribution, so far he has exceeded what we wanted, probably not in his eyes because he is very competitive. Every time we set a challenge, he has risen to it. He has been desperate to make a difference with the bat. I think we saw a glimpse of potentially what he can do for us in the future," Fleming said.

Fleming said the decision to send Faf du Plessis and not Shane Watson to open with Curran was also because of the former Australian batsman's power-hitting skills that would help the side even after the powerplay is over.

"Faf was very good at going over the top of the field early whereas Shane has more of a power game that suits going into the next phase of the innings," Fleming said.

Watson did make an impact at No. 3 as he took on Rashid Khan after the powerplay, contributing 42 fom 38 balls. CSK posted 167, thanks to some late blitz from Ravindra Jadeja before clinching a 20-run win.

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