Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings
@ChennaiIPL - Twitter

Chennai Super Kings played party spoilers when they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 9 wickets on Sunday. In doing so, they crushed Punjab's dream to qualify for the Indian Premier League playoffs.

With this loss, KXIP have been knocked out of the playoff race. KL Rahul-led side have to settle with 12 points from 14 matches, while CSK also have the same number of points from as many matches.

Chennai's campaign had already ended, but MS Dhoni-led side registered two wins in their previous matches to make it difficult for the other remaining teams barring Mumbai Indians, who are enjoying the playoffs berth comfortably.

After the win, Dhoni said that the team will need to change the core group for the next year's tournament and he also said that maybe its time to hand over this team to the next generation.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis played knocks of 62 and 48 in the win at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

"It was a difficult campaign. We committed a lot of errors. The last four games were a template of where we would like to be. Proud of the guys because if you are lagging behind for 7-8 games, it becomes really difficult. It is not easy, you will not want to be in a dressing room that's not enjoying cricket. Proud of them," said Dhoni during the post-match presentation.

It is the first time that CSK has not managed to qualify for the playoffs of the IPL. Right now, it is not known whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will hold a mega auction before the 2021 IPL.

"A lot depends on what BCCI decides about the auction. We need to slightly change our core group and looks for the next ten years. At the start of the IPL, we made a team that served us well for ten years. It's time to hand it over to the next generation," said Dhoni.

"We will come back strong. That's what we are known for. We are eighth in the table but 14 points and we could have qualified. This is a season where only one team played well (Mumbai) or most teams played well. Whenever we have seen Rutu bat, he's somebody who has done well in net sessions. But we were not able to see him in games. Then he got Covid, and even after 20 days he was not fit. He did not get time for us to gauge. That was one of the main reasons we kept going with Faf and Watson. It did not work. But that's the point where you go with the experienced players," he added.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in