Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming reflected on the emotions running throughout the camp ahead of the IPL 2023 final on Sunday in Ahmedabad. However, the former New Zealand captain underlined the need to stay in the present and curb the excitement.
CSK beat GT in Qualifier 1:
The Super Kings are targeting a record fifth IPL title against the defending champions and high-flying Gujarat Titans. MS Dhoni and co. will take confidence from beating the Titans in the Qualifier 1, defending 172 against a power-packed batting line-up.
Fleming admitted that it's taken plenty of work to reach where they have and are looking forward to the opportunity. The 50-year-old stated that it's been incredibly hard not to look too far ahead and imagine holding the trophy again.
"We're excited, but there's a bit of nervousness as well. It's a big stage, a big occasion, and there's a lot of work that goes into getting to this point. We're proud of what we've done, and we're looking forward to the opportunity. It's a big occasion, the game doesn't change, but the outcome does; it's really hard not to look too far ahead. And the dream is of winning it again, right from the coach to a guy who hasn't played a game. Trying to contain that excitement and trying to stay in the present is one of the great challenges as we get towards the end of the tournament," he said at a pre-match press conference.
Stephen Fleming eager to stay level-headed ahead of the final:
Keeping in mind how excellent the Titans are, Fleming believes the players must have some level of nervousness to come good at a crunch game. He suggested that taking Hardik Pandya and co. might backfire.
"They're an excellent side, and we can't afford to dream too much, but this is why we're here. The excitement levels and the nerves of the big stage slowly simmer away, but it's a good thing to have, it's just how you work with them in your system. We look forward to this challenge, but you have to have a certain level of anxiety and nervousness to be at your best, I guess. It's about how you manage that and how quickly you can sync into the game. That's what we will be looking to do."
The Titans booked their IPL 2023 final spot by beating the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 on Friday.