IPL 2024: Home advantage has become a key aspect this season, says CSK coach Fleming

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Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Home is where comfort is for teams in the 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as two of the most successful teams, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are set to clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. In IPL 2024, Mumbai Indians have won two of their three home matches while Chennai Super Kings have a 100 per cent record in the three matches, they have played at their home in Chepauk. While MI have lost three matches on the road, CSK went down in both their away matches. Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming, the longest-serving coach in IPL, said home advantage has become a key aspect this season. Among the other teams, Gujarat Titans, runner-up of the 2023 edition, have won two of their three matches; the same has been the case with Lucknow Super Giants also winning two of their three home matches. “I think teams are pretty easy, pretty even. So, the performances have sort of reflected that. Home ground advantage has become a key aspect. So as teams travel, it’s been a little bit more difficult,” said Fleming in the pre-match press conference at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday. Fleming said one of the reasons why the teams are quite evenly matched and look comfortable is that they are in the third year after the main auction and have a settled nucleus. “So, teams are really working on having a good home-ground advantage. So, you’ve seen the ups and downs as teams travel, but the third year of an IPL should be close. You’ve had two years to get your team up to where you want it to be, and you’ve had a chance to buy new players or get rid of old. So my understanding is the third year is one of the most difficult to win because the competition should be credibly even. Some teams have had a little bit of an advantage with some of their players they’ve got, but others have worked pretty hard to get a good list,” he said. Talking about the rivalry between Mumbai Indians and CSK, Fleming said the players really look forward to the rivalry. “Love it, to be honest. We really look forward to this fixture. It’s a wonderful place to play and over the years it has developed into a really competitive rivalry, and it’s based on two good teams playing successful brands of cricket,” said the CSK head coach. “So not by design, but more through results, it’s worked out to a couple of successful franchises that have had opportunities to push ahead of the others. But look, in saying that every time you play a team these days, it feels like a massive rivalry or a massive game. So, we try to keep things reasonably simple and part of the process of this game is to keep emotions down and just enjoy the occasion for what it is.,” said Fleming. “Be very easy to hype it up because it’s all around you, but we’ve got some pretty cool customers on our side, so it’s another game, but it’s got a beautiful edge on it and we really enjoy it,” said the 51-year-old coach. –IANS bsk

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