Batting has been a concern for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019, but the larger picture lies in the form of World Cup-bound players. India No 6 Kedar Jadhav had the best chance to silence his critics while chasing a gettable score of 156 against Mumbai Indians on Friday, but the poor run continued.
He scored six off 11 balls before chopping a Krunal Pandya delivery onto his stumps.
Jadhav’s lackluster show in the tournament has raised eyebrows on his World Cup preparations. Having faced hamstring issues in the past, the all-rounder balanced his workload by not bowling in the IPL. The bat, unfortunately, hasn’t spoken much either; except for a sluggish 58 against MI in the away fixture.
CSK coach Stephen Fleming feels it is slightly tricky to assess players’ form in the IPL as the conditions are tough. “He would like to do more. He is building towards a World Cup as well. There are expectations from him to play a key role. But we need a little bit more from him. There have been opportunities. Jadhav has the finishing role ability to manipulate the field, but he is good enough to play an anchor role as well,” said the former New Zealand captain.
Fleming backed his statement citing the behavioral changes in pitches and the hectic travel involved in the tournament. “In these conditions, it is hard to gauge if you are in form or not. You don’t know how the track is going to play. (Shane) Watson made the most of the last game, but today, it was tricky for all.
“The pitch had enough in it to create problems if you were losing wickets. But we are going to need him (Jadhav) a bit more,” he added.
“He is disappointed that he hasn’t made most of the opportunities. We have been losing that many wickets which suggest that most players are searching for form. T20 is a hard game to play and be consistent when you play down the order.”
India wicketkeeper-batsman and CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sat out on Friday due to fever. But he has had workload issues too.
The 2011 World Cup winner has been struggling with back spasms and in his absence, CSK's batsmen look clueless and the bowlers don’t have the guiding light from behind the stumps.
“MS is a great leader and a player. He has been a constant for us for so many years. You get into the rhythm of having him there. When you take a leader like that out, there will be some holes to fill. It takes a mammoth effort as the hole is quite big. These are psychological aspects,” said Fleming.
Due to the World Cup, which starts from May 30 in the UK, there has been a lot of stress on rest and recovery. A five-day break refreshed the charges of the MI group with its skipper Rohit Sharma possibly profiting the most from it; scoring his first fifty of the season.
CSK is also heading into a four-day break before it takes on Delhi Capitals at home on May 1. “We have been on the road for a while. We got four days to recharge. MI benefited from the last five days, we will look to do the same.”
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