New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming lavished praise on all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who forms the "core of the middle order" for the side in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Jadeja had whacked 37 runs in the final over of CSK's innings and then came back to pick three wickets as MS Dhoni-led side thrashed RCB by 69 runs. The all-rounder smashed 62 runs in just 28 balls, with the help of five 6s and four 4s, as CSK scored 191 in their allotted 20 overs on Sunday.
"We don't have a leadership group. He (Jadeja) is a key member of our side and he is without doubt close to the peak of his powers, that last game we all saw, I don't think we can ask for much more. He is working very hard, doubts were around his lack of cricket coming into the tournament."
"He trained very hard, and he is one top player in the world in any format and we are lucky to have him right now in his prime. He forms the core of the middle order and allows a lot of options within the team," said Fleming while replying to a query from ANI.
Meanwhile, CSK returned to the top of the table after registering a comfortable victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday.
A late onslaught from Kane Williamson (26*) and fifties from Manish Pandey (61) and Warner guided SRH to 171/3 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, Ruturaj Gaikwad's blistering 75-run knock and a fifty from Faf du Plessis (56) helped CSK to chase the target with nine balls to spare.
"To be honest, he (Ruturaj) is really self-sufficient. He is really low-key. We have got some players who bat for a long time. He is really efficient with what he does. He has got a strong purpose about what he needs to do. He is simple in his game plan," Fleming said.
"The batting is anything but simplistic, but his method and the way he trains is really refreshing. He knows his ability, and he keeps it very simple. We can't speak more highly of him," he further said.
"We have rated him (highly) for a long time. One of the setbacks he was having with COVID last year created a little bit of delay in (us) introducing him at the right spot. But now, he is there and has established himself. He is a fine Indian talent. We are really excited about having him and what he is doing for us," Fleming added.
Chasing 172, Gaikwad and Du Plessis gave a flying start to CSK. The openers showed their intentions from the beginning of the run-chase. Both the openers started taking on SRH bowlers and smashed them all around the park.
The duo added 54 runs in the Powerplay overs. The openers continued the carnage and went on to take the side to the three-figure mark in the 11th over.
"I am very happy with the way in which Faf and Ruturaj are playing. The way in which they are doing it is very pleasing. It is easy on the eye; it is somewhat low risk, and it is very effective up to this point," said the CSK coach.
"There is still pressure; it is not as if the pressure goes away, but confidence grows. We were just hoping that Rutu (Ruturaj) would find some form and get a score because we had no doubt over how good he is. So yeah, we are very happy with that opening partnership. No doubt about that," Fleming added.
CSK will next play against Mumbai Indians on Saturday. (ANI)