CSK Must Discard Old Mindset To Be A Threat In IPL
For the first time in a long time, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) went into the 2021 IPL and was not among the top three teams that were the betting favorites to win the IPL Championship. They are now ranked in 7th place in betting odds on Bet365 with odds of 11.00 to win the championship.
CSK had a poor performance in the 2020 IPL in the UAE as they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. CSK fans were distraught and called for major changes to the aging squad, but CSK owners decided to stick with the same squad as they believed that the CSK unit is more of a family than a team.
CSK Lose Opening Game To DC
CSK took on the Delhi Capitals (DC) on April 10 in their opening game of IPL 2021. It was a good opportunity for CSK to start their campaign with an impressive win and send a message to their fans and the rest of the IPL franchises that their 2020 performance was behind them.
DC was without their regular captain Shreyas Iyer who is out of the IPL due to a shoulder injury. R Pant was captaining DC for the first time and was up against the veteran and his former mentor MS Dhoni who has captained CSK throughout IPL history.
However, CSK ended up on the losing side as they continued their strange ways in the IPL by making very questionable decisions in both the bowling and batting department. The Capitals ended up winning by 7 wickets with 8 balls to spare.
CSK fans will be disappointed that their team lost the opening game. However, the bigger concern is that CSK continues to make the same mistakes that they did in 2020 and does not look like a champion side anymore.
We take a look at some of the mistakes that CSK made against DC. Our experts also look at what they need to do to be a serious threat in the IPL and win their next game against the Punjab Kings.
Fix The Batting Order Correctly
CSK decided to open with Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad, and both of them failed early on. With Suresh Raina back on the side, everyone expected him to take his number 3 position to perform the best for CSK. However, they decided to promote Mooen Ali to 3 and bring in Raina at four.
The two of them did well, and A Rayudu, who bats at four, came in at five. CSK then decided to promote R Jadeja ahead of the captain MS Dhoni and that mean the talented Sam Curran could only come in at eight. Dhoni got out for a duck, and it was Curran who helped CSK get to a respectable 188 by hitting 34 of 15 balls.
It looks like MS Dhoni no longer has the confidence to come high up the order and take control of the game. MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming are also getting the batting combination wrong once again in 2021, and these decisions continue to hurt CSK.
Experts Give Their Batting Combination
Faf du Plessis has been a rock for CSK over the years, but just like Shane Watson from last season, CSK is holding on to Faf a little too long. If they want Mooen Ali to bat up the order, they should get Ali to open with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Suresh Raina has to bat at number three, and Rayudu should slot in at four and settle there for a few games.
Given the fact that MS Dhoni is now reluctant to bat up the order, they got to make use of S Curran at five and give him a few opportunities to shine with the bat. R Jadeja at six, D Bravo at seven, and MS Dhoni at eight, will give CSK enough depth in the batting.
Make The Right Bowling Changes
CSK had enough runs on the board, but their bowlers did not have much of an answer to the onslaught from the DC batsmen. CSK need to strengthen their bowling department by bringing in an overseas fast bowler. By dropping Faf du Plessis, they get the opportunity to do so and can bring in either L Ngidi or J Behrendorff.
MS Dhoni also needs to use his bowlers wisely as R Jadeja, who was the most economical bowler, sent down only 2 overs. Dhoni continued to use S Thakur, who was the most expensive of the lot.
If CSK continues with their baffling decision-making, they could soon find themselves at the bottom of the points table yet again. Their next game is against the Punjab Kings on April 16, and their changes or the lack thereof will show us if CSK will once again be stubborn and back their old formula!