The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) journey officially ended today from the 13th season of the Indian Premier League. In their last league match played against Kings XI Punjab, CSK registered a stunning win by 9 wickets. This is the first time CSK has not reached the playoffs. CSK were already out before the playoff race, but the team won their last three matches and gave the fans a chance to celebrate and also promised a strong comeback. After his last league match, CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni spoke openly on several issues.
Dhoni said, ‘It has been a difficult journey for us. I don’t think we played to our full potential, we made many mistakes in different occasions in the tournament. The last four matches show where we wanted to see ourselves in this tournament. If you lag too much, then it becomes difficult to push yourself and perform well. Everyone should have contributed here. I am proud of the way young cricketers played. The 6/7 matches were tough, you don’t want to be part of a dressing room where cricket is not being enjoyed.
He further said, ‘You want to come up with new formula and theory, but if the atmosphere of the dressing room is not good, then it becomes very difficult. Much will depend on what the BCCI decides on the auction. We have to make some changes in our core group and think about the next 10 years. At the beginning of the IPL, we created a team that did a good job for us. There comes a time when you have to shift a bit and assign responsibility to the next generation. It will be our policy to create a strong core group.
While giving a message to the fans, Dhoni said, ‘We will come back strongly, for which we are known. It has been a difficult year, it has been a season where more teams have done well or you can say that Mumbai Indians played a great game and the rest of the teams are struggling to stay in this race. So this is how you look at it. This season has been very positive. I gave my jersey to a lot of players, maybe they thought I was retiring. ‘
For Rituraj Gaikwad, Dhoni said, ‘Whenever we saw him, he was someone who batted well. We could not see him playing much in the beginning. The time was very difficult at the beginning of the season, when he was found to be Kovid positive and was out. Even after 20 days he was not fit. He did not get much practice. Had he scored 15-20 runs in his first match, we would have given him a chance, which is why we kept going with Shane Watson and Faf du Plessy. It didn’t work but I don’t think it was bad. This is the time when you say that I will go with the experienced players and try to come back in the tournament. There is only a few months left in IPL 2021, which is a good thing and I hope that the lockdown will not happen and the players will be able to work on the skills. A lot can be planned, not just a lockdown.