It has been an end of an era for Chennai Super Kings, as they say, after the franchise, who scripted the record of bagging playoffs spot in each of their 10 IPL appearances, failed to make it to the knockouts in IPL 2020. With Rajasthan Royals' late Sunday win against Mumbai Indians, Chennai crashed out of the race with no remaining mathematical possibility.
Many have called for a rejig given most of their core players are well past their prime. Even their captain, MS Dhoni, who is 39 presently and had struggled to score in the ongoing tournament in the UAE. But CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan ruled out any possibility of major changes to the squad and firmly believes that Dhoni will lead the team in IPL 2021 which is roughly six months from now.
“Yes, definitely. I am very confident that Dhoni will lead CSK in 2021. He has won three titles for us in the IPL. This is the first year we have not qualified for the playoffs. No other team has done that. One bad year does not mean we will have to change everything,” Viswanathan told TOI.
“We didn’t play to our potential this season. We lost games that we should have won. That pushed us back. The withdrawals of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh coupled with Covid cases in the camp meant that the balance of the side was upset,” he added.
Chennai will have to reconsider some if not most of their players ahead of the next IPL auction, if at all it takes place. The likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Shane Watson have failed to deliver this season, while Dwayne Bravo remained on the sidelines with injury for a major part. Even their head coach Stephen Fleming admitted that the team "run out of juice" after their eighth defeat in the season last week.
“It’s fair to say looking at the IPL table now that this team may have run out of juice. If you’re looking at the three-year cycle – we won the first year; lost off the last ball last year; and we always thought that the third year with an ageing squad would be difficult. And Dubai [UAE] has challenged us with a whole new set of requirements," he had said.
The only two positives from the season was Sam Curran's all-round briliance and Ruturaj Gaikwad's unbeaten half-century in the game against RCB.