CSK vs RR: This season we weren't really there, says Dhoni

Chennai mustered just 125/5 and Rajasthan knocked down the target in 17.3 overs to move to the fifth position with CSK languishing at the bottom of the table.

MS Dhoni and Steve Smith exchange pleasantries after Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings.   -  IPL

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni conceded that his team didn't perform to the expectations after suffering a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

In a must-win game, Chennai mustered just 125 for the loss of five wickets and Rajasthan knocked down the target in 17.3 overs to move to the fifth position with CSK languishing at the bottom of the table.

"Fair enough, this season we weren't really there. Also there were few chances to the youngsters. Maybe we didn't see the kind of spark that they could've given us to say okay you know push the experienced guys and make space for them. But what this result has done is give those youngsters whatever is left in our league stages.

CSK vs RR Highlights IPL 2020

"They will get a chance and have no real pressure on them so they can go out and express themselves. And give us the option of looking at the other options in the batting lineup or where they'd like to bat," Dhoni said after his team suffered a crushing win.

Defending a modest total, CSK made early inroads but Jos Buttler and Steve Smith denied any hopes of a comeback.

"The reason I brought on Jadeja was to see how much it's stopping. But it didn't stop much like in the first innings. Then the option was to go with the seamers and then bring on the spinners when the ball got older. In the second innings I think it got better because our spinners didn't get the same bite.

"It's not always supposed to go your way. That's why what we try is going back to the process and see if the process is wrong or maybe we weren't able to execute. Result is always a byproduct of the process," Dhoni reasoned.

"What it does is it helps you think in a positive way. We play in front of millions of people so there is nothing to hide. The fact remains that if you're busy with the process then the undue pressure of results doesn't get into the dressing room. We've tried a few things.

"That's one thing you don't want to do. You don't want to chop and change a lot. Because what happens is after three-four-five games you're not sure of anything. You want to give guys a fair go then if they're not performing then you switch and go to someone else and give them a run. Insecurity is something you don't want to prevail in the dressing room," he added.

Winning skipper Steve Smith heaped praise on spinner Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia, who squeezed the life of Chennai's innings and restricted them to a below-par total.

"The spinners bowled good lengths, with the googlies and leggies, building a lot of pressure. Tewatia and Shreyas have been sensational for us," Smith said.

Chasing a 126 runs to win, Rajasthan suffered an early setback but  Buttler with an unbeaten  48-ball 70 ensured Royals remain in the hunt for a playoff berth.

"Buttler took the pressure off me. I just knocked it around, and he just batted the way he usually does. He always maintains a good strike-rate," Smith said.

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