Chennai Super Kings is one of the most successful franchises in the history of the competition. With three IPL trophies and an impeccable record in the playoffs, only Mumbai Indians have achieved more than CSK in IPL.
However, this season, CSK have struggled on the pitch. The team has found it difficult to win games, and result, they are sitting in the bottom half of the table. While performances have been the main reason for the failure, there are quite a few other factors that have led to CSK’s downfall. In this article, we analyze five mistakes that led to CSK being underwhelming this campaign.
1. No Replacements Announced For Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh
Well, injuries are common in IPL, and announcing replacements is a procedure every team follows. Even CSK have done it in the past. However, it is strange that the team failed to replace Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, both of whom pulled out of IPL 2020. Bhajji was anyways going to have a limited role, but Raina’s absence was going to be a massive loss for the squad. Despite knowing this, CSK did not announce any replacements. Almost every aspect of CSK’s failure and issues in team balance can be pointed to this decision by the management.
2. Very Few Chances To Youngsters
CSK have always been inclined towards fielding an experienced squad. However, in IPL, grooming youngsters is also equally important. Especially since CSK were struggling this season, they could have tried out a few youngsters in their roster. However, they failed to do that, and they lost a few games where the energy and enthusiasm of a youngster might have helped. Also, CSK were very much predictable this season, and had they used some of their relatively unknown youngsters, things might have been different.
3. Backing Failed Players For Long Time
We are not reading too much into this, but this factor has not helped CSK this season. Last few seasons, CSK stuck with Shane Watson despite his bad form, and in the later stages, the move paid dividends. However, they were then winning games even when Watson wasn’t performing. This season though, the scenario was different. CSK were giving chances to the likes of Watson, Kedar Jadhav, and Piyush Chawla even though the team was not winning any games. Somewhere, complacency came into the picture, and overall, there was an impact felt on the results of CSK’s matches.
4. Confusing Batting Order
CSK’s batting order lacked clarity this season. There were too many changes in the order, and this brought uncertainty to the proceedings. While Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu were preferred at the top in previous seasons, this edition, Rayudu was made to bat down the order. In fact, even Watson has batted away from the opening position in a few games. The team’s best batsman Faf du Plessis was also not given a permanent batting slot. The decision to use Sam Curran as a floater didn’t work, and MS Dhoni batting very low in the initial games earned criticism.
5. Failure To Adapt To UAE Conditions
In one of the post-match interviews, CSK coach Stephen Fleming made an interesting statement. He said that they had assembled a team with the intent to win at least 5-6 games at Chepauk. With the tournament shifting to UAE, the franchise could not rework their strategies. Be it their batting or bowling, CSK never showed that they were comfortable with the new surroundings. Eventually, the squad lost many games, and at the moment, they are all but out of IPL 2020.