IPL 2024, CSK review: Inconsistency, Gaikwad’s lack of faith in spinners cost Chennai in Dhoni’s potential farewell season

When CSK looks back on its 2024 season, the 7-7 result over 14 games is a fair reflection of what it was capable of. For a side known to maximise its resources, it is an area where it faltered big time.

Published : May 19, 2024 19:14 IST , CHENNAI - 3 MINS READ

If there is ever a need for evidence that momentum can play a vital role in a team’s fortunes, the contrasting journeys of RCB and CSK this year are proof of that.
If there is ever a need for evidence that momentum can play a vital role in a team’s fortunes, the contrasting journeys of RCB and CSK this year are proof of that. | Photo Credit: AFP
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If there is ever a need for evidence that momentum can play a vital role in a team’s fortunes, the contrasting journeys of RCB and CSK this year are proof of that. | Photo Credit: AFP

A campaign that started promisingly with four wins out of the first six games ground to a halt tamely on Saturday evening in Bengaluru, as Chennai Super Kings crashed out of the group stages on Net Run Rate following its loss to Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

If there is ever a need for evidence that momentum can play a vital role in a team’s fortunes, the contrasting journeys of RCB and CSK this year are proof of that.

Royal Challengers lost six games on the bounce and turned it around, posting as many wins in the last six games to storm into the playoffs, while Super Kings alternated between a loss and a victory in their last seven outings.

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When CSK looks back on its 2024 season, the 7-7 result over 14 games is a fair reflection of what it was capable of. For a side known to maximise its resources, it is an area where it faltered big time.

The problem for the outfit started right at the top. While skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad led from the front, he often lacked support from the other end in the absence of Devon Conway. Rachin Ravindra started well as an opener, but he was benched after a few poor scores and made a comeback only towards the end of the season. The reigning champion instead opted for Moeen Ali for the Kiwi opener, considering the former also brought variety to the attack with his off-spin. But the English all-rounder was under-utilised with both bat and ball. It might have been prudent to have backed Ravindra in such a scenario.

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Daryl Mitchell and Ravindra Jadeja blew hot and cold, and Ajinkya Rahane had a miserable outing. The continued backing of the latter - he has his limitations, especially against spin - was confounding. In the first half of the season, Shivam Dube papered over the cracks to an extent, but once his form nosedived, the problems got magnified.

On the bowling front, losing Matheesha Pathirana (injury) and Mustafizur Rahman (national duty for the last four games) meant the pace attack lacked teeth. The Indian core was inconsistent and cost the five-time champion dear in the last two defeats. It did not help that CSK’s spinners did not come to the fore for various reasons, from dew to the nature of pitches. But it also appeared the skipper lacked faith in the tweakers and did not get the maximum out of them.

Despite this, for the ardent fans, there was hope when M.S. Dhoni hit a monstrous 110-metre six off Yash Dayal to bring the equation to 11 off five balls to qualify. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. If this happens to be the last outing for Dhoni as a professional cricketer, it wasn’t the fairytale farewell everyone hoped for. 

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