When we remember Chennai Super kings, one word always strikes our mind and that is “Invincible”. Such has been the history of CSK over the years under the leadership of the veteran MS Dhoni. They have an enviable record of playing in every IPL playoffs except for the 2 years when they were banned.
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Last year also, hardly anyone doubted about this team at the start of IPL 2020. Almost everyone was sure that again CSK would feature at least in the playoffs. But then this is 2020, the year of uncertainties. The team which used to roar like a lion is now sadly placed at the bottom of the points table. Such has been the story of CSK’s IPL journey this year. Let’s try to figure out why the team failed to deliver at this year’s IPL.
Reasons for CSK’s failure in IPL 2020
- When we talk about CSK, we always associate Suresh Raina with it. Raina, their highest run-getter and the most consistent batsman over the years, withdrew from the tournament even before the mega event started citing personal reasons, and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too followed the suit. Their absence hearted them deeply as they struggled to find proper balance in the middle order that Raina brings in.
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- Harbhajan with enormous experience could have been handy in the slow tracks of the UAE. Over the years, Chennai has carried the legacy of retaining old players such as Watson, Bravo, Du Plessis, Imran Tahir, etc. They always used to prove the proverb “Old is gold” true.
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- These old horse’s delivered them success for many years. But this time, this strategy of persisting with old veteran players actually backfired them. Recently West Indies’ great Brain Lara, in an interview also highlighted the overdependence on Foreign Players and giving very few opportunities to young Indian players the most important reason for their downfall.
- There was always 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. Except for Rituraj Gaikwad, who, while opening the innings in the second half of the IPL has actually shown them that young players if given chance can perform better than seasoned players.
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- One of the reasons why CSK has been tagged as one of the best sides in the Ipl is their depth in their batting lineup with Dhoni as a leader and a great finisher. But sadly, in IPL 2020, none of these assets have actually delivered. Even though he averages 51 currently, none of his knocks helped his team win any game, which is again very rare by Dhoni’s standards. Dhoni’s floating batting position is giving a clear indication that the man himself is looking for some stable corner in the batting lineup.
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- This year, strangely, his captaincy skills have also raised many eyebrows. Sam Curran, this season has been their shining player, contributing both with bat and ball. Despite showing a good batting form, he was persisted with batting lower down the order and got promoted to opening after 7 games. This resulted in him getting lesser balls to face and had he been promoted higher up the order, his skills and firepower in batting would have been made more utilized.
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- Similarly, Imran Tahir, the man who won the Purple Cap in 2019, had been warming the benches for many games in starting. He was not even tried when Dwayne Bravo was absent with a knee injury. These strange tactics have eventually led to the team being bottom-placed this season. However, MSD in his last few interviews has highlighted the importance of getting the process right. He and the team management has given clear indications that young players would now be given more chance in order to find the right balance of the team leading up to the IPL 2021.
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- After this year’s dismal performance, they have plenty of things to ponder upon. Time is less for them, they have to do a lot of brainstorming leading up to the next IPL 2021 which has been started from 9th April. We cannot right off CSK by any means, After all, they still carry the record of most number of IPL playoffs participation in IPL history and also the most consistent team.
This year CSK have won 2 out of 3 matches. Its a good sign for the team as well as CSK’s Fans