Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni have this enviable record of playing in every IPL play-offs except those two years they were banned. But in this IPL 2020, they seem to be lost and still struggling for form.
This article was originally published in myKhel.com
Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni have this enviable record of playing in every IPL play-offs except those two years they were banned. No other team, even the four-time champions Mumbai Indians, can boast of this record.
However, that proud run is under threat as the Chennai Super Kings is on the brink of exiting from the IPL 2020 without making it to the play-offs. The defeat against Rajasthan Royals was a big setback for the CSK. The possible reasons are explained below:
#1 Missing Raina, Harbhajan
The Chennai Super Kings were dealt a big blow even before the IPL 2020 started. Raina, their highest run-getter and most consistent batsman, withdrew from the tournament citing personal reasons, and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too followed the suit. Their absence was felt as Chennai struggled to find balance in the middle order that Raina brings in. Harbhajan’s experience could have been handy in slowing tracks of the UAE as the likes of Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja did not rise to the occasion.
#2 Out of Form Dhoni
MS Dhoni has been the backbone of CSK batting over the years. In the past, he donned multiple roles – enforcer at the death, steadying the innings and pace the chase. But in IPL 2020, Dhoni looked a man vastly out of touch and struggled to force pace. Even some of his quicker innings came much after the Chennai Super Kings reached a point of no return. His captaincy too seemed lacking in spark, and often he seemed too rigid to change the game plan. The lone bright spot was his still sharp skills behind the wicket.
CSK Head to Head in IPL 2020
|Against||1st Game||2nd Game|
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||157/5 – 164/5||167/6 – 147/8|
|Kings XI Punjab||181/0 – 178/4||–|
|Rajasthan Royals||200/6 – 216/7||125/5 – 126/3|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||132/8 – 169/6||–|
|Mumbai Indians||166/5 – 162/9||–|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||157/5 – 167/10||–|
|Delhi Capitals||131/7 – 175/3||179/4 – 185/5|
#3 Reluctance for Bringing in New Players
The Chennai Super Kings is a team that try to stick to same set of players for a longer duration, chopping and changing is not their wont. But in the IPL 2020 that trait came back to haunt them. Shane Watson and Ravindra Jadeja had started so slowly and it took nearly five games for them to fall into the strides. By then, CSK had fallen so far behind some other teams like Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, outfits they dominated with ease in the past. There was a reluctance to bring fresher legs like N Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Even while some of them were given a chance, they did not get a longer run.
#4 Tactical Errors
The Super Kings have been a pioneer in bringing in some patented tactics to IPL. Remember that bizarre placing of Matthew Hayden on the field in the IPL 2010! But those have become old tales. Sam Curran has been their outstanding player, contributing with both bat and ball. Despite showing a good hitting form, Curran was persisted with batting lower down the order and got promoted to opening after 7 games. Similarly, Imran Tahir, the Purple Cap winner of IPL 2019, is still warming the benches. He was not even tried when Dwayne Bravo was absent with a knee injury.