MS Dhoni and CSK (Chennai Super Kings) the name that resides in millions of heart. Since the beginning of IPL (2008), Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most successful franchises, the fan following the team carries, the connect with the fans or the brand they have become, MS and boys played a big role behind it.
In all these years, Chennai and Dhoni saw a lot of ups and downs including the 2 years suspension. Known popularly by the name of Thala, Chennai fans have always stood by Dhoni and the team through thick and thin. After MS Dhoni’s retirement from International Cricket, people believed now they will witness the magic of ‘Vintage Mahi’ again. The monkey is off his back and now the best of MS Dhoni will be seen on field. But it’s 2020 and it’s a complete turnaround.
Chennai Super Kings have disappointed their fans this year. This year CSK stands at the bottom of the points table with just 3 wins in 10 matches, that’s not something someone would expect from MS Dhoni or his team. Every time Chennai played IPL they have managed to qualify for the Playoffs, but this year it seems impossible.
From the start of tournament CSK were completely looking out of place. The exclusion of Suresh Raina (the heart of CSK) and off spinner Harrbhajan Singh affected the team badly, but what is more shocking is CSK’s ignorant nature. CSK neither asked for replacement of Bhajji or Chinna Thalla. The team that was once considered champions of champions, now seems to have lost its magic.
MS Dhoni’s form in this IPL hurted Chennai badly. The success of CSK is totally dependent on the success of MS Dhoni. Chennai’s skipper in this IPL has scored 164 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 125.19, but what we all noticed is the lack of intent and self belief. In the initial phase of the tournament Dhoni was seen pushing his batting position down, while some considered it selflessness, this was totally a negative mindset.
MS Dhoni is the biggest and the most impactful player for CSK. Mahi played some crucial knocks in 2018 which resulted to Chennai lifting the IPL trophy. However this year was completely opposite. One needs to accept the reality rather than staying in denial. MS Dhoni is not the same player who can come and start hitting every ball out of the park, he needs time. But what’s surprising is Dhoni taking too much of pressure.
In most of the game MS Dhoni came to bat when the required run rate was already touching 12-14. Why don’t Dhoni come out in the middle and control the play ? The answer is simple because of fear of loosing his wicket. When a batting collapse happens, MS is always seen coming at number 6 or 7. The fear of failure is causing a lot of harm to the team. MS Dhoni’s successful template of taking the game deep and finishing it off in style is not working anymore.
What’s the point of taking the game deep when you are not able to finish. In many games even after getting a good start Chennai failed to do a good finish. If you follow Chennai’s 2018 campaign you will notice in each of the game, their was one player who would roll up the sleeves and take the team across the finishing line. But this year neither the team is playing like a unit nor their are some great individual performances other than FAF’s.
MS Dhoni has also come into experts radar for his team selection and captaincy. The role of Kedar Jadhav is still not understandable. Neither does he bowl, nor does he bat or contribute in the field, then what’s the point of playing Kedar and wasting one place. If he is in the playing 11 for just facing last 2-3 deliveries then better play an extra bowler or bring Jagdishan in the playing 11, atleast make some players for the future. People believe it’s MS Dhoni’s obstinacy to prove Kedar’s critiques wrong, so MS is giving enough chances to Jadhav while seeing ‘lack of spark’ in youngsters.
MS Dhoni’s statement about the youngsters have raised a lot of controversy. A player of such calibre or stature saying this about youngsters, can completely demoralise them or cause harm to their game. Imagine the mental space of players like Rituraj or Jagdishan when MS Dhoni says, ‘I don’t see any spark in them’. Moreover did the team management and Dhoni showed enough faith and gave proper chances to these youngsters.
Shane Watson has been a sheer match winner for CSK, but we need to accept he will not deliver consistently. What’s the point of playing him when he can only deliver in one out of 5 games. People had high hopes from Watto, but what’s saddening is even after getting set he is gifting his wicket. The way of getting out and his intent speak a lot about his confidence. Is Chennai Super Kings planning to play him for the next season if so then ok and if not then go with Rituraj or Jagdishan.
Rituraj has been a traditional opener, MS Dhoni is known for grooming the players but why not this time. Make your future ready. We have seen in this tournament the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Ishaan Kishan, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag and few more firing for their respective team. You never know, Rituraj could have given CSK a solid foundation. The loyalty towards the players is a good sign but for that loosing the tournament isn’t.
CSK banking on their experienced players have backfired. With experience comes ability to think and in a T20 game you need action more than thought. Moreover most of the CSK players are either retired or semi retired and are back on the ground after a year or so. This makes it quite difficult for them, but seeing the international standards one should be properly equipped before stepping into the field.
From here on it seems difficult for CSK to qualify for the playoffs, however people are still hoping to see some ‘Mahi Magic‘. A legendary player like Mahendra Singh Dhoni doesn’t deserve this. The biggest ‘SOP’ of this year’s IPL was MS Dhoni stepping into field after retirement, but sadly all in vain.
(Disclaimer: This is an opinion post. Readers can completely agree or disagree with the article. We accept your thoughts whole heartedly)