Once Kings, Now Laggards: What Ails Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2022?

| Updated : April 15, 2022, 12:17 pm
Updated : April 15, 2022, 12:17 pm

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MUMBAI: After losing four matches on the trot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Chennai Super Kings defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore to win their first match on Tuesday. Let’s have a look at the factors weighing down this team which has won the tournament four times.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s terrible form 

One of the biggest reasons behind Chennai winning the tournament last year was splendiferous success of their openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad as both of them scored over 600 runs. This year Faf is playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, while Gaikwad is in awful form.

Gaikwad, who was highest run scorer in 2021, has only managed 35 runs in five matches. While his opening partner Robin Uthappa is faring better, Gaikwad’s form has significantly dented Chennai’s fortunes. Moreover, due to his consistent failure, Chennai have been unable to notch up a flying start.

“Ruturaj should give himself some time. He’s a good timer of the ball and has all the shots. He can make up for a slow start. These pitches are good for batting but he needs to get used to the bounce,” former Indian coach Ravi Shastri said.

Middling domestic bowlers 

Last year Deepak Chahar stepped up and spearheaded Chennai’s pace bowling attack. However, this year, his injury just before the tournament rocked their boat.

To compound their problems, Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Choudhary have not been able to cut the mustard so far. Both of them lack pace to threaten opposition batsmen and their skills are also subpar. Choudhary is decent with the new ball but goes for buckets of runs but his death bowling is abysmal. Even the reserves such as Simarjeet Singh, Subhranshu Senapati have looked rather tame.

Lacklustre captain

MS Dhoni resigned as a Chennai captain just ahead of the tournament and handed over captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja. Under Dhoni, Chennai remained a well-knit and the most consistent team in the annals of the IPL.

However, Jadeja has come a cropper both as a performer and a captain. He has been utterly unimpressive both with the bat as well as with the ball. In addition, his captaincy has been mind-bogglingly lacklustre. He has failed to enthuse the players and doesn’t give insightful and inputs like Dhoni used to. When it comes to field placements, either he leaves them entirely to Dhoni or seems clueless. His body language on the field is pedestrian and his tactics are unimaginative.

His decision to give the 19th over to Shivam Dube against Rajasthan Royals, when he had two overs of himself left, lost the match for Chennai. It also highlighted his lack of belief in his own ability.

“There’s a new captain at the helm, and he’s under pressure. Jadeja should necessarily bowl his four overs. Dube bowled the 19th over in the last game when Jadeja had two overs left. He needs to bowl with courage,” said Shastri.

Their win against RCB has given Chennai a chance to qualify for the playoffs. But the captain has to lead from the front, iron out kinks and infuse vim and confidence in the players.

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