It has been a forgettable season for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. The four-time and defending champions have failed to play the brand of cricket that one comes to associate with the Men in Yellow. Moreover, injury concerns have also impacted the balance of the team and the combination that they ideally would have wanted to go ahead with.
On April 25, the Ravindra Jadeja-led team succumbed to their sixth defeat of the season as they lost to Punjab Kings by 11 runs. Ambati Rayudu's valiant effort worth 78 off 39 deliveries had gone in vain on that day and ever since then, there is a section of pundits who are calling for the inclusion of India's U-19 star and bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar.
After Chennai's defeat against Punjab Kings, Fleming spoke on the same issue.
"You have to be very careful. I know he’s (Rajvardhan) performed at the Under-19 level but this is a step up," Fleming said, as quoted by the official website of CSK.
"We’re very conscious of the skills that he needs to perform. We don’t wanna just throw him in and damage him. We want to make sure we realise the potential that he’s got," he added.
"He’s on an excellent program with us. He’s played some big games already. If the opportunity arises this year, we’ll put him in. Pace is one thing, how to use it and bowl on the big stage is very important. We’re not gonna mess around with a talent like him," the former New Zealand captain stated.
Notably, Chennai had roped in Hangargekar for ₹1.5 crores at the mega-auctions in Bengaluru ahead of the start of the competition. The Tuljapur-born cricketer had captured the attention of cricket lovers through his splendid outings in the U-19 World cup earlier this year, picking 4 wickets and scoring useful runs.