Coming back from a position of unknown and uncertainty has been the trademark of Chennai Super Kings, the one conceptualised by their leader MS Dhoni. It is and has been one of the very many reasons why CSK over the years have garnered so much support all across the globe. But with seven defeats in 10 games, Chennai have languished to the bottom of the table, a position they have never befriended in any of their previous 12 IPL seasons, and from what now seems is a position of no return. So have Chennai given up? Certainly not their fans, but their skipper, yes. Shortly after their seven-wicket defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Monday in Abu Dhabi, Dhoni admitted that "this season we were not really there".
Dhoni, not mincing on his words, said that he failed to see any kind of spark in the youngsters that could have forced a change in the lineup.
"We tried a few things - that is one thing you don't want to do, you don't want to do too many chopping and changes because what really happens is after three-four, or five, games you are not really sure about anything," Dhoni told Star Sports after the match on Monday. "So you want to give guys a fair go. Then if you are not performing, you switch and go back to somebody else and then you give him the same kind of run. Insecurity is something that you don't really want to prevail in the dressing room.
"This season, we were not really there. And, also, there were a few chances to the youngsters and maybe we didn't see the kind of spark that they could have given us to say, okay, push [out] the experienced guy and maybe make some space for them (youngsters)."
CSK have so far fielded 17 players this season and Dhoni said that youngsters will get an opportunity in the remaining matches this season, clearly hinting that he has given up hope of CSK bouncing back to win four of their remaining four games this season and keep playoffs hope alive.
"Today, the result, what it really does is give those guys whatever is left in our league stages, they will get a chance and they will have no real pressure on them," he said. "They can go out and express themselves. And give us the option of looking at what are the options in batting line-up or where they would like to bat."
CSK will next face Mumbai Indians, the team they had defeated in the season opener in Abu Dhabi, on October 23 in Sharjah.