New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has always been the side that is applauded for their calm in a crisis and their approach of patience. Sadly, those days are now passe, especially if you consider IPL 2022. With four points from eight matches, CSK is rapidly approaching the point of no return and it is no longer time for calm or any other such laudable approach. They need all hands on the pump as the stormy race for the qualifiers looms, and even that may not quite be enough. They have not been able to find their feet with any consistency, and things look bleak.
This is why the effort by Ambati Rayudu against Punjab Kings (PBKS) is to be appreciated. The man decided to take the fight to the rival camp, and while it wasn’t quite enough, in the end, CSK would be well served if more batters took that approach.
By the end of the match, it looked like another MSD class of late finishes was on the cards, but MS Dhoni, to the great disappointment of all CSK fans, could not deliver again.
There are lessons in that as well. CSK can’t possibly depend on Dhoni to do everything. The other batters need to find the boundary with consistency, and that is not happening.
Rayudu has always been one of those who will take up the cudgels and battle it out. His inconsistency is as much a testament to CSK’s unsteadiness as anything else.
But the knock against PBKS held promise for greater things.
His 78 off 39 balls, at a sensational strike rate of 200, was ominous for PBKS for the time that he spent on the crease. Seven boundaries and six sixes were testaments not just to his ability but also possibly to his frustration.
Not that Rayudu can be blamed. The rest of the batting Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Shivam Dube or skipper Ravindra Jadeja have offered precious little. One good knock here or there is just not good enough.
The same applies to Rayudu as well, but at least he really gave it a go against PBKS and hopefully will do so some more in the near future.
Thanks to the extended league of the enlarged IPL, all the franchises, including CSK and even Mumbai Indians, mathematically are still in the race.
Improbable is definitely the keyword, but not impossible. It will take more of Rayudu and many more of the CSK batters to reach the improbable.
(This article was first published on india.com)