Chennai Super Kings Coach Stephen Fleming Not Sure How Long MS Dhoni Can Play All Formats

Stephen Fleming has been the coach of the Chennai Super Kings for six seasons and is known to have a good rapport with MS Dhoni.

Last updated on Saturday, 03 May, 2014 21:37 IST
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New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is good enough to continue as a captain for three years but the New Zealander is not sure "whether he can continue playing all three formats" for that long a time. (Dhoni First Skipper to Win 100 T20 Games)

"I haven't spoken to him on this issue. He is in fine shape and if he is fit, he can continue to lead for atleast good three to four years. Having said that, I don't know how long he will be playing all three formats. It's pretty hard as India have such a tight schedule," Fleming told PTI during an interaction here today.

Fleming has been the coach of Chennai Super Kings for six seasons now and shares a great rapport with Dhoni.

"What I try to provide MS is with two months of enjoyment, so that he can come into Chennai side having taken a break from the Indian team. He loves his game and looks pretty comfortable man winning games for Chennai consistently," Fleming said.

But for Fleming, who captained New Zealand close to a decade, feels that an international skipper has a shelf life of four years and beyond that can create some problems.

"Look Dhoni and Graeme Smith has been exceptions but I feel that an international captain has a shelf life of four years. After that it is easier to get back as another normal cricketer," Fleming said at the launch of the mobile and internet app CricHQ at the New Zealand embassy.

"If you have been the leader for too long, then it becomes difiicult once you leave the job. You tend to miss the decision making authority and stuffs like that. In fact, I faced the similar problems after I quit captaincy," he said.

Fleming feels that Dhoni's low-key approach of leadership suits the Indian team well.

"He has got a style that suits the Indian team pretty well. Indians look for consistency and have a pattern. They have such talents that on a given day, some of them can single-handedly win matches. You don't need too dynamic or too radical thought-process when you have players like Kohli, Dhoni.

"In case of New Zealand team, Brendon has to be a bit dynamic and try different strategy as they don't have talent pool like India," Fleming, a veteran of 111 Tests and 280 ODIs explained.

He agreed that Suresh Raina has been an "under-achiever in Tests" but is also livid that people has made a big issue of his problems against short-ball.

"Raina has been an under-achiever in Tests but I reckon he deserves another chance at the Test level as he can complete that middle-order alongside Kohli, Pujara and Rohit."

"I guess people have made it an issue as he may be getting out in that fashion in one out of 10 innings. We work a lot with him at the CSK nets and he plays beautifully in the IPL. I want him to carry that same mental state in the international arena also.

He termed Ravindra Jadeja as one cricketer who has "just got better" expanding his horizon from being a T20 specialist to a Test player despite not being a classical left-arm spinner or a top-order batsman.

"That's probably the nature of cricket. Jadeja is an exception as he has just got better. On flat wickets, he hasn't got much help but there are wickets where he can be effective like last night (Ranchi). He can be a match winner."

The left-hander of yesteryears wants to ensure that he atleast focuses on one of the two skills well enough. (Why Jadeja Thinks CSK Are Unbeatable)

"He just needs to ensure that he does one of the two skills well enough. A lot of players don't do one skills good enough and there are many of those players around, and you can fall short."

Fleming feels honoured when his name crops up as a candidate for coaching the Indian team but he is happy with his two-month stint with CSK which lets him concentrate on other aspects of his life.

"I would love to coach (CSK) as long as possible. But two months is perfect for me and add CLT20 to it, it is good enough. During other months, I explore other things. It gives balance and sense of purpose throughout the year. Life couldn't better as long as I can add to CSK. I would like to continue as long as relationship remains strong."

Story first published on: Saturday, 03 May 2014 21:28 IST

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