After a horror 2022 campaign, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are determined for a strong comeback in the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Stephen Fleming, who has been the franchise’s coach since 2009, spoke about an ‘unexpected’ moment from a training camp at Chepauk when the franchise’s skipper MS Dhoni came out to bat. Despite having not played at their home stadium for the last couple of seasons, what Fleming witnessed during a training session was truly extraordinary.
Having roped in a few quality players from the recently-concluded auction, CSK have started to put in the work to prepare for what could be MS Dhoni’s final season as a player in the franchise. Though there are about three months to go before the new campaign begins, certain players like Dhoni, who are no longer playing any other format, need to put in extra effort to match the intensity of others.
In a video shared by CSK, Fleming spoke about his return to Chepauk where about 20,000 people arrived to watch the players, including Dhoni, practice.
“The noise is a part of it. You associate that with the game. It was actually a practice day that really struck home to me when we came back in and MS came out to bat and it was something like 20,000 people for our homecoming. Just the excitement and that noise for a training, was something I haven’t experienced before. It was really unique and I know a lot of players and a lot of people who took note of that,” Fleming said in the video.
The former New Zealand captain admitted that he got goosebumps looking at the reception the players got at the training session.
“The hairs on the back of your neck stood up, It was unexpected. It was great to try and have the players training in that type of environment. It was real introduction back to our home ground,” said the CSK head coach.
The Super Kings, who have already won the IPL title a total of 4 times, will be looking to lift the trophy for the 5th time as the new season begins in later this year.