The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have had a great IPL season so far and sit on top of the 2019 IPL points table. However, with their recent loss to the Mumbai Indians on April 26, the gap between CSK and the rest of the teams has significantly reduced and CSK could end up losing their top spot if they lose a few more games.
CSK Go Down Without Much Of A Fight
MS Dhoni was not present on Friday night to lead CSK against the Mumbai Indians. Dhoni was out due to fever and Suresh Raina took over the captaincy. CSK did a great job in restricting the powerful Mumbai Indians to just 155 as the bowlers once again did a great job. M Santner was the most impressive of the bowlers sending down his 4 overs for just 13 runs and taking 2 wickets in the process.
However, CSK found it difficult to get going with the loss of early wickets and the modest total of 155 turned out to be very challenging for a brittle batting line-up. Shane Watson (8) who performed well in the last match once again fell cheaply and so did Raina (2). M Vijay tried to hold the innings together with a well-made 38 but wickets fell at regular intervals and CSK was bowled out for 109.
In a statement, Raina said “We need to sit as a batting unit and see where we’re doing wrong. We have power hitters, we have experienced batsmen, we just need to relax as a batting unit and hopefully things fall in place.”
CSK Toothless Without MS Dhoni
Without Dhoni at the helm, CSK looks powerless and are definitely beatable. The presence of Dhoni commanding the men in yellow brings them confidence as Dhoni has led CSK throughout the history of the IPL.
Dhoni has also performed with the bat in the middle order when it mattered and his consistency has covered the lack of consistency shown by other senior batsmen in the side including S Watson, S Raina and A Rayudu. Dhoni will be back in the side once he recovers from his illness.
CSK can relax for a bit as they have a few days off with their next match against the Delhi Chargers scheduled for May 1. Coach Stephen Fleming will need to use the next few days to get the CSK batsman to clear their thinking and be ready to fire themselves to another IPL Championship!