IPL 2020: Factors that led to CSK’s downfall

The Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed some nail biting games in Dubai this year. While the tables turned for Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 13th edition, it also turned out dismal for some of the favourites. Among them were MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.

The men in yellow salvaged 6 wins out of 14 games which saw them languishing at the bottom of the table. With 8 losses, CSK failed to make a comeback for a position in the top 4.

Post their last fixture of this year’s IPL, Dhoni said, “We will come back strong. That’s what we are known for. Yes, this has been a tough year.”

But what led to CSK’s woeful performance? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

1. Suresh Raina’s absence: The Chennai Super Kings vice-captain left Dubai in controversial circumstances quoting ‘personal reasons.’ While it has been alleged that the southpaw was finding it difficult to adjust in the bio secure bubble (due to Coronavirus), it is believed Raina’s extended family were attacked – with an uncle killed, according to reports – on August 19, in Pathankot in northern India.

2. Harbhajan Singh opting out of IPL: The senior off-spinner opted out of this year’s tournament quoting personal reasons. Singh didn’t attend the Super Kings’ six-day conditioning camp in mid-August in Chennai and did not travel with the team to Dubai on August 21. The spinner’s absence hurt CSK as Singh is joint-third on the list of highest wicket-takers in the IPL, with 150 scalps.

3. Players testing positive for COVID-19: Deepak Chahar, Ruturaj Gaikwad tested positive among a group of more than a dozen in the Super Kings contingent, which robbed them of valuable training time.

Despite all odds, CSK kicked off their campaign against title defenders Mumbai Indians with a 5-wicket win. However, the Dhoni led outfit failed to put up a consistent show as the tournament eventuated.