Since their victory over MI in the tournament opener on October 19, things have been horrible for CSK. The team was slammed by the Rajasthan Royals and will be without the services of the wounded Dwayne Bravo, who is out of the tournament. The Super Kings batsmen battled against the Rajasthan Royals and it remains to be seen whether, after the drubbing on Monday, the untested players on the side would get their chance as suggested by Dhoni.
When they take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in an IPL match today, Chennai Super Kings are expected to try out a few of their younger players.
In every single season they played in, Chennai Super Kings qualified for the playoffs. They are in the last place, however, this time with a low net run rate. If such outcomes go their way, they can still qualify. While skipper MS Dhoni admitted that the season could already be over for them after the loss against Rajasthan Royals, CSK can still get 14 points if they win their remaining four games, giving them an outside chance to make the playoffs.
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris said he didn't think it could be turned around by Chennai Super Kings and reach the UAE play-offs. The men of MS Dhoni face a do-or-die situation as they take on arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in Sharjah on Friday. As head coach Stephen Fleming pointed out, when they won in 2018 and reached the final the following year, the ageing squad could finally have' run out of juice' after doing well over the past two seasons.
Dhoni himself, along with the others who excluded Faf du Plessis, was not at his best. The consistency of the team with a struggling Kedar Jadhav has come in for a lot of strong criticism, and if he makes way for either N Jagadeesan or Ruturaj Gaikwad, it needs to be certain. They will, however, be up against a mighty MI side who won five games in a row before the powerhouse was stopped by Kings XI Punjab, turning the tables on Sunday night in a double Super Over.
The four-time IPL champions were in alarming shape and the diverse bowling attack could prove a challenge for the limited-confidence CSK batters. Sharjah, which was a tough place to start with for bowlers, things seem to have changed with the wicket slowing down and some sort of evening out stuff. In addition, with Quinton de Kock in magnificent form, the MI batting line-up was in excellent shape, while Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan had their moments.
For an under-fire CSK fighting to save some dignity, a well-rounded and consistent Mumbai Indians unit might provide a huge challenge. Two points from Friday's match will put the men of Rohit Sharma closer to sealing a playoff berth, while the Super Kings, who are still in with a chance theoretically, will try to finish strongly in what has been a nightmare.