It was a significant Indian Premier League season for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings, but not exactly in a good way. Having reached the IPL semi-finals / playoff stage in each of their 10 earlier campaigns, the men in yellow missed out for the first time and finished seventh on the points table this time around.
All eyes were on Dhoni at the start of the season in the United Arab Emirates. The 39-year-old had announced his retirement from international cricket just a month earlier and fans were keen to see the legend in action after he had spent well over a year away from competitive cricket.
But Dhoni’s CSK, a team known for its remarkable consistency in the IPL, failed to gain any momentum right through this season. They were first pegged back by Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh’s withdrawals, before paying the price for sticking with an aged group of players which struggled to dust off its rustiness.
CSK's results in every IPL season
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2008||3rd||Lost in the final|
|IPL 2009||2nd||Lost in the semi-final|
|IPL 2011||2nd out of 10||Champions|
|IPL 2012||4th out of 9||Lost in the final|
|IPL 2013||1st out of 9||Lost in the final|
|IPL 2014||3rd||Won in Eliminator, Lost in Qualifier 2|
|IPL 2019||2nd||Lost in final|
Chennai Super Kings started the season on a promising note with a win against eventual champions Mumbai Indians, but the season kept sliding downhill from there. The likes of Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Jadeja (with the ball) were far from their best and CSK lost eight of their first 11 matches to become the first team which was ruled out of contention for the playoffs.
However CSK, the second-most successful team in IPL history with three titles to their name, won their last three matches to finish the season on a high and avoided a last-placed finish. That was little consolation as IPL 2020 was indeed a major disappointment for them and their fans.
In what was, perhaps, good news for the Super Kings, captain Dhoni confirmed in the last match that he will definitely participate in the next edition of the IPL. A rebuild of the squad is on the cards and Dhoni and Co have to plug plenty of holes in a ship that struggled to stay afloat in 2020, to borrow an analogy from their talisman.
CSK's match results in IPL 2020
|MI vs CSK||Abu Dhabi||CSK won by 5 wickets|
|RR vs CSK||Sharjah||CSK lost by 16 runs|
|CSK vs DC||Dubai||CSK lost by 44 runs|
|CSK vs SRH||Dubai||CSK lost by 7 runs|
|KXIP vs CSK||Dubai||CSK won by 10 wickets|
|KKR vs CSK||Abu Dhabi||CSK lost by 10 runs|
|CSK vs RCB||Dubai||CSK lost by 37 runs|
|SRH vs CSK||Dubai||CSK won by 20 runs|
|DC vs CSK||Sharjah||CSK lost by 5 wickets|
|CSK vs RR||Abu Dhabi||CSK lost by 7 wickets|
|CSK vs MI||Sharjah||CSK lost by 10 wickets|
|RCB vs CSK||Dubai||CSK won by 8 wickets|
|CSK vs KKR||Dubai||CSK won by 6 wickets|
|CSK vs KXIP||Abu Dhabi||CSK won by 9 wickets|
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis was the only real consistent performer with the bat for CSK this season. The right-hander scored four half-centuries and fought a lone battle many a time. If one looks at the top five run-getters of CSK, there are three remarkable things to note. Firstly, captain Dhoni, one of the most consistent batsmen over the years for the franchise, isn’t part of this list. He did not cross fifty for the first time in a season. Secondly, Ravindra Jadeja, whose primary role is that of a spinner, comes in fourth. And lastly, young Ruturaj Gaikwad, who played just six matches in the season, sneaks in having hit three consecutive fifties. In the youngster, CSK have a spark to build on for the next season.
Most runs for CSK in IPL 2020
|Faf du Plessis||13||449||87*||40.81||140.75||4|
Among the bowlers, not even a single spinner makes it to the top-five wicket-takers list for CSK. Jadeja, Chawla and Karn Sharma were supposed to play crucial roles but failed to deliver. England’s left-arm seamer Sam Curran was one of the bright spots for CSK this season and he tops the list. Deepak Chahar was impressive at times but his team needed more from him with the new swinging ball. As for the rest, there’s not much to write home about.
Most wickets for CSK in IPL 2020
Video highlights of all CSK matches in IPL 2020
Highlights videos courtesy: iplt20.com