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IPL 2017: Stephen Fleming puts his money on Imran Tahir in absence of Ashwin

Surprisingly! Pune weren't aware of Ravi Ashwin's injury

By Rashmi Nanda -

Rising Pune Supergiant coach Stephen Fleming’s most valuable players Mitchell Marsh and R Ashwin have been ruled out of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League due to injuries but he doesn't believe in lamenting over the loss rather wants to make good use of the players he has on the team.

During in an exclusive chat with TNN, RPS Coach Fleming stated, “Ashwin was an important part of our plans. It is disappointing not to have him but you can understand with the kind of cricket he has played in the last six months, there were going to be wear and tear injuries.”

As the injured Mitchell Marsh was replaced with Imran Tahir and the RPS Coach felt that the South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir along with youngsters in the side, will try to fill in the gap.

Fleming further stated, “We weren't aware of Ashwin's injury (when we picked Tahir to replace Marsh). We picked him because obviously, he is the best T20 bowler in the world. Surprisingly he wasn't picked in the auctions. With Ashwin not there, Tahir, along with other youngsters will try to use their skills and make the most of it.”

Fleming also hopes that the newly-appointed RPS skipper Steve Smith will do a good job as skipper but it is more of leadership in the side than just Smith taking the charge.

Former New Zealand skipper added, “If you look at the team, we have got Steve, we have Faf du Plessis, we have Ajinkya Rahane, who is a Test captain and then MS Dhoni. So without concentrating just on Steve as captain, which I am excited about working with, we have got leadership and it is very important for a young side with us. So using the experience and leadership is going to be my challenge as a coach.”

After seeing their performance in the training camp, the RPS coach emphasised on the young talent and hinted that the uncapped players will get opportunities to make it count to the playing XI in the coming season of the cash-rich T-20 league. Fleming concluded, “There are going to be opportunities this year. It is up to this young group how they perform in this week (training). It has been a short span of time, but already a couple of players have performed well. We are getting a good idea of how we will stand up to the extra pressure of IPL. We can't be sure of the fate of the first few games, but we are excited about the skills the youngsters will bring in the game.”