Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni, on the back of his side’s crushing 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Mumbai, revealed that with the season all but gone, CSK might start ‘looking towards the future’ in their last three games. With just 3 wins in 11 matches, CSK are on the brink of elimination.
The ejection of Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla, and the introduction of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Narayan Jagadeesan and Imran Tahir was seen as a positive move that could elevate the Chennai side, but despite the personnel changing, results did not turn around for the Men in Yellow in Sharjah as they slumped to their worst defeat in IPL history. Batting first, the Super Kings were blown away by Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah, who reduced them to 24/5 inside the powerplay, and then defending a meagre 115, they were mauled by Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock, who led the Blues to a handsome 10-wicket victory.
Speaking on the back of a crushing defeat, CSK skipper MS Dhoni, whose side are now all but out of the competition, revealed that the final three games might be an opportunity for the management to do ‘tests’ ahead of the IPL 2021 season, where the team might undergo a major rehaul.
“I feel the boys have done that, they've tried to perform. I think it's important for us to have a clear picture of next year. There are lots of ifs and buts - auction, where the venues will be. The coming three games will be an ideal opportunity to give platforms. See some of the youngsters in preparation for the next year. A few more who are on the bench will get games in the coming three games,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.
The Rajasthan Royals was seen as a humiliation, but this was a complete dismantlement of the entire CSK line-up as Mumbai controlled the game from start to finish. Dhoni revealed that all CSK players, including himself, are hurting on the back of the loss.
“It does hurt. What you need to see is what are the things that are going wrong. Specially this year, it hasn't been our year. Whether you lose by 8 or 10 wickets, it hardly matters, but where we are at this stage of the tournament, it does hurt.”
After winning the first game of the season versus Mumbai, Chennai’s season went downhill. A victory versus Kings XI Punjab turned out to be a false dawn as they have since, gotten worse almost with every passing game. Dhoni asserted that things did not quite go CSK’s way throughout the season and emphasized on the need to analyze what went wrong with the side.
“What you need to see is where we actually went wrong, right from the second game. It was more about the bowling. Rayudu got injured, the other batsman were maybe not there 200% and in cricket when you're going through a tough phase, you need a bit of luck. The games we wanted to bat first, we haven't won the toss, and there's no dew and all of a sudden when we bat first there's dew.
“Whenever you're not doing well, there can be a 100 reasons, but one of the main things you ask yourself is whether you've got to the potential you've got no matter the conditions. When you put a good team on paper, have we done enough to back up the stats? And this year we haven't. Cumulatively there have been batting failures. It's part and parcel, you can't always think the result will go your way.”
CSK still have a mathematical chance of qualifying, but with other sides picking up pace, making it to the playoffs seems like a long shot for the three-time champions.