When CSK returned to IPL in 2018 post two-year ban, they prioritized experience instead of youth. With the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo in their ranks, they also bore fruits for two successive years in 2018 and 2019 – when CSK won the title in 2018 and make it to finals in 2019. But in the big grounds and sapping heat of UAE, the tired legs ‘Run Out of Juice’ and not investing in youth cost them dearly this season.
Recent reports suggest that the CSK management is ‘extremely disappointed and unhappy’ with the performance for obvious reasons. A source in the knowledge of things confirmed that some harsh calls are on the way. He added that though there is a little time for next season, the franchise is looking at rebuilding the team from the scratch with investment in the young brigade.
“See as Fleming has said, a lot of chinks in the armour have been exposed this time. Some tough calls surely will be taken. The only issue is there is little time between now and the next edition,” said the concerned source on condition of anonymity as quoted by Inside Sport.
With Dhoni far beyond his prime, Watson highly inconsistent, Rayudu’s intent riddle, Jadhav becoming liability and absence of their greatest match winner in Raina, CSK’s batting unit has looked feeble and at times helpless. The likes of N Jagdeesan and Ruturaj Gaikwad failed to impress in limited chances they got. More surprisingly, when MS Dhoni said the youngsters in the camp are ‘lacking spark’, it was more of a question mark than answer on the CSK management’s strategy so far.
With less than six months for the 14th edition of the tournament, CSK squad is due for a big-time overhauling. This will require enormous amount of planning and effort to find the replacements of Dhoni, Watson, Rayudu, Bravo, Tahir, Raina, Vijay and many more.
The management would also like to tweak their spin heavy bowling attack, which is readymade for the slow tracks of Chennai. On the hard pitches of UAE, that have lacked movement and spin, CSK’s bowling unit is found soul searching due to lack of pace to trouble batsman.
The problems are a plenty for CSK management at the moment- Piyush Chawla has failed to fill in for Harbhajan Singh, Josh Hazelwood and Lungi Ngidi lack pace, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are not the greatest of threats in middle and death overs, and Bravo’s fitness concerns, all these have played part in CSK woes this year.
Chennai Super Kings are all but out of the race for Playoffs. They have lost 7 out of the 10 matches this season and their position in the points table tells the story itself. Though it’s not right to write off three-time champions as they still have an outside chance of making it to playoff, the tone in which captain MS Dhoni and CSK coach Stephen Flaming talked after the match it looks all but over for CSK this season.