What went wrong for CSK in IPL 2020

CSK is one of the most successful teams in the history of IPL. Three IPL titles, 10 Playoff appearances, and Eight finals. Nobody comes near CSK’s standard in the IPL. Then what went wrong for the team that had finished in the top 4 for all the seasons they have played in up till now.

Absence of key players

Even before the IPL 2020 kicked off CSK was given two huge blows. Both Harbajan Singh and Suresh Raina withdrew from this season’s IPL.  While personal reasons are given as the official reason for Suresh Raina’s withdrawal, all doesn’t seem to be well between him and CSK. With 5368 runs from 193 games, the Raina is the second-highest run-scorer in the history of the IPL and the highest runscorer for CSK. Raina could have been the answers to the middle order problems that CSK have faced this season.

Image: Iplt20.com

On the other hand, Harbajan was the only offspinner in CSK’s squad. His absence not only affected them in that department but also removed experience from the squad.

CSK also decided against getting a replacement for these players and rely on the bench strength.

Poor Bench Strength

While CSK decided to rely on their bench to carry them in the IPL, the truth is they have no good players who can step up to replace injured and absent players.

Murali Vijay and Piyush Chawla were seen as two players who could step-up this season for the CSK but turned out to be a huge disappointment. Raina’s nonavailability was seen as a great chance for Vijay to cement his place. Alas, it was a dampener. Vijay couldn’t grab is chances. On the other hand, he only proved to be a misfit in the team.

When a team like SRH, even with their injury problems, had players like Williamson and Bairstow on the bench throughout the Tournament, the same was not seen in the case of CSK.

Unsettled batting lineup

When you analyze closely, the batting order seemed highly unsettled at the beginning half of the tournament. While the batting did manage to find a formation by the tail end of IPL, but it was too little too late for CSK.

An example of such was Rituraj Gaikwad, who has played and been groomed as an opener in his entire career, was pushed to number 4, and play in the middle order. At the business end of the Tournament, when he returned batting in his natural position, he scored three half-centuries and the team won all the matches.

Image: Iplt20.com

The positives

While it was not the season they hoped for, there were still quite a few positives that the team can take away from this season.

Rituraj Gaikwad didn’t have the best of a start to his IPL career. The player played out of position at the start of the tournament and had a hard time adjusting. But when given a chance at his natural position, the youngster went on to score 3 consecutive half-centuries and showed maturity while getting his team over the finish line by remaining unbeaten twice.

The other positive that has been for CSK is the performance of all-rounder Sam Curran. The England all-rounder was asked to perform varied roles throughout the tournament, from opening the innings to batting in the death overs. Curran excelled under pressure.

Even with the ball, he chipped in with 13 scalps at a strike rate of under 20.

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