In the IPL for a decade, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) formula of trusting experience over new blood reaped them unprecedented results. Three IPL titles, eight IPL finals and qualification to every IPL playoffs; CSK had become a force the reckon with, courtesy of MS Dhoni. However, the story of IPL 2020 has not been the same.
Chennai are on the brink of elimination this season. If it happens, it will be the first time in their history that they fail to qualify for the playoffs. And just like for success, it is the old warhorse Dhoni who is partially the reason for the failure.
While, other teams entrusted their young legs to deliver at the big stage, he decided to stick to his outdated formula. The three-time winners’ poor run this season has put a question mark on the approach and Dhoni, trying to justify it, said that the younger lot has not done enough to force a change.
“You don’t want to chop and change. Insecurity is something you don’t want to prevail in the dressing room. Also the youngsters, we didn’t see the spark to push the guys,” Dhoni said.
As they now gear up to square off against Mumbai Indians at Sharjah in the survival match, the big question is “will Dhoni leave his stubbornness and give chance to youngsters?”
IPL 2020: Youngsters who can replace the big names of Dad’s Army
CSK coach Stephen Fleming after the seven-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals, accepted that the team has lacked the “spark” and it is only fair to bring in youngsters to turn it over.
“I think it’s fair that we will be turning that over,” Fleming said after the seven-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals when asked if there will be a shift from the team’s policy of sticking to a squad.
Dhoni had echoed his coach during the post-match presentation and added: “What this result has done is give those youngsters a chance in the rest of the tournament. Maybe going forward we bring them in and they play without pressure”.
Two players who are likely to feature against Mumbai Indians are Ruturaj Gaikwad and Narayan Jagadeeshan.
IPL 2020: Who are Ruturaj Gaikwad and Jagadeeshan?
Gaikwad is a free-stroking opener whose game revolves around a fluid technique. He first into the scene during the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy when he ended as the third-highest run-getter in the tournament. His ability to play risk-free cricket and excellent technique with the willow caught attention immediately.
He relies heavily on timing and deft touches, then modern-day power-hitting prowess, which is common amongst today’s batsman. CSK picked him up in 2019. He played his IPL debut against Rajasthan Royals last month. However, he got out for a duck. In two matches played, he has amassed just five runs but it is mostly due to inexperience of playing at No.4.
If CSK decides to bring him in, they can rest Shane Watson, pairing Faf du Plessis with Gaikwad.
Jagadeeshan, on the other hand, can replace Amabati Rayudu as CSK’s No.4. A dashing wicket-keeper batsman, he came to the limelight after a highly impressive stint in the first season of Tamil Nadu Premier League 2016.
Dubbed as one of the future wicket-keeper probables for India, he made his IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He scored an impressive 33 off 28 balls at a strike rate of 117.86.
It will be a good chance for CSK to revamp their team and start making strategies for the next season in advance. If CSK wins today, they will have an outside chance of qualifying. However, a loss would be the final nail to their faltering IPL 2020 season.