Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the Chennai Super Kings’ youngsters didn’t show enough spark for them to push the senior players out of the team but also confirmed that the younger players will be given a few chances in the coming games.

“You don’t want to chop and change. Insecurity is something you don’t want to prevail in the dressing room. Also the youngsters, we didn’t see the spark to push the guys,” Dhoni said at the presentation ceremony on Monday.

“But what this result has done is give those youngsters a chance in the rest of the tournament. Maybe going forward we bring them in and they play without pressure,” he added.

However, his statement was met with severe criticism by former India cricketer Kris Srikanth who called his selections throughout this IPL as ‘rubbish’.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process... but the process of selection itself is wrong. What is Dhoni’s deal? He says Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process, and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikanth added.

Dhoni’s suggestion of now giving youngsters a chance after the pressure is off further attracted scrutiny from Srikanth.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on, yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” he said.

End of a cycle

Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming also admitted that the CSK team has come to the end of its cycle.

“We have been really consistent over the years with our selection. It is fair to say that looking at the table now, this team has run out of a bit of juice. But if you look at the three-year cycle we won the first year, lost the last one last year,” Fleming said.

“We always thought the third year was an ageing group and would be difficult and Dubai has chanced us with a whole new set of requirements.

“We have some players that we will look at...,” the former New Zealand captain added.

Fleming said the slow conditions and some superb bowling by Royals spinners did not let his side settle into a rhythm.

“When in slow conditions you are exposed to spinners, it is difficult to get the innings underway. We lost wickets throughout. The consolidation period became longer. We could not get momentum.”

Asked about not bowling a spinner after 12 overs, Fleming said, “It’s more of a question for MS, to be fair.”

“They are trying out. Even in Sharjah, it felt that it goes easier towards the evening. They (Smith and Buttler) played the spinners out of the game with their partnership, Buttler batted exceptionally.”

(With PTI inputs)