Chennai Super Kings, arguably one of the most successful IPL franchises have just won 2 of their 6 matches so far. Their fall from grace coincides with Dhoni’s who just cannot bat at the moment. While chasing 167 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the Chennai based franchise could only manage 157 in 20 overs. At one point they were cruising with 90-1 in 10 overs. However, as soon as the top order was removed the middle order collapsed with pressure. CSK were not able to make 77 runs off 60 balls and lost the game by 10 runs.
Poor middle order
While their top order has been decent with Du Plessis and Watson performing well, none of their middle-order including Dhoni is anywhere close to their best. Since the very first match, they have sh*t the bed. The last match against Kings XI Punjab when they won by 10 wickets seemed like a return to form for them. Though in hindsight it just looks like a fluke. KXIP are the bottom team at the moment and winning against them is not really noteworthy. Their middle-order woes were exposed against Kolkata Knight Riders when they were unable to make 77 runs in 60 balls with 9 wickets remaining.
Bad squad selection
Chennai has been applauded for giving long ropes to their players and not giving knee jerk reactions when they lose. This extra lifeline, however, seems counter-intuitive now that they’ve lost 4 out of 6 games. The team badly needs to inject some fresh blood into the team and lose the dead weight in Jadav and even Dhoni to some extent.
What should they do to qualify for the Top 4?
While the chance is not lost yet but if Chennai continue to play this way, the top 4 might become a distant dream. Right now only Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals looks set on making the top 4. Chennai now need to win 6 out of 8 games to have a mathematical chance to be in the top 4. Honestly, it’s good that the team that had a sure shot at the top 4 is now struggling and others are doing better. I have already written about how this IPL is shaping up to the most open and entertaining, and Chennai Super King’s downfall is just a part of that.