Chennai Super Kings played without Dhoni twice this IPL season and lost both of them quite badly. It was more or less a walkover for both the opponents. The one they lost to Mumbai India is even more noticeable since it was played on Chepauk, which has been the fortress off CSK for the last 6 years. When the team plays on the home ground, one would expect at least 5-7 out of playing XI to perform. However, that has not been the case.
Top Order Trouble
Out of 12 games, CSK has found themselves at 40/4 and 50/4 for more than four occasions. This situation brings Dhoni in the middle in or about the 10th over, way early than he likes. And he has taken the team out of the sorts for all those occasions. Barring Ambati Rayadu, nobody has played an inning of substance in partnership with Dhoni. Even the likes of Bravos and Duplessis haven’t been able to contribute.
Lack of finishers
Against RCB – the match CSK lost by just 1 run – Dhoni refused to give the strike to Bravo at least thrice that inning. The instances talked more about the form of the player more than the captain’s faith in him. Bravo has hardly been able to clear the ropes this IPL season compared to last few seasons.
As far as bowling department is concerned, there aren’t too many noticeable performances barring Imran Tahir’s 4-for. Deepak Chahar has performed well, but he’s still an understudy of Dhoni, more than himself.
The equation has remained simple for CSK this season. If you want to win or even want to get close to opponents’ scores, have Dhoni, who is the lone warrior in the battle of defending the title.
With all the facts and data, questions they need to answer this IPL season is, Is it Dhoni’s CSK or Dhoni – A CSK?