Bengaluru, Nov. 1: Riding on another scintillating show from the Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Chennai Super Kings finished their Indian Premier League (IPL) season on a high as they notched a comfortable nine-wicket victory over the Kings XI Punjab.
Already out of contention, Chennai played party poopers as they ended KXIP’s playoff chances.
After enjoying a forgetful season for the major part, CSK skipper MS Dhoni was happy that the former champions finished on a high, winning three matches on the trot.
Speaking after their final game of the season, the skipper said the season had been tough but he was happy with the way they ended. “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're lagging behind for 7-8 games, it becomes really difficult. It's not easy, you won't want to be in a dressing room that's not enjoying cricket. Proud of them,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation ceremony.
With the playoff race going down to the last day, Dhoni said most teams have played well this season. “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 Indians) or most teams played well,” stated the 39-year-old.
Meanwhile, there when asked about the team composition for the next season, the skipper said that it was time to hand it over to the younger guys. CSK have been referred to as Dad’s Army with most of the members being in their mid or late 30s.
Dhoni has also been criticised this season for not putting faith in the younger lot. As many of the players might not be playing in the next IPL, Dhoni said the core group will be changed next year.
“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,” stated the Chennai captain.
Moreover, before signing off, the skipper lauded Ruturaj Gaikwad after the youngster’s unbeaten 62 off 49. Gaikwad came into the team late as he was down due to Covid. But he has played a stellar role in the last few matches as he notched up his third consecutive fifty of the season.
Praising the youngster, Dhoni said, “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 didn't get time for us to gauge. That was one of the main reasons we kept going with Faf and Watson. It didn't work. But that's the point where you go with the experienced players,” signed off the captain.
Chennai finished the season with 12 points from 14 games. This is the first time in 13 editions that the three-time champs have failed to make it to the playoffs.