Chennai Super Kings is a team that loves playing in home conditions. The slow and gripping surface at the Chepauk stadium has assisted MS Dhoni’s gameplans and it has thus been a fortress for the team over the years.
It is no surprise then that CSK created their team around those conditions, where spin bowlers and medium pacers play a big role. But with the IPL being played in the UAE, those strategies are now out of the window. If the initial matches are anything to go by, pace bowlers are performing far better and that has been the reason behind the early rise of Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals in the points table.
CSK’s batting coach Michael Hussey was asked about how much the team is missing playing in Chennai on Wednesday and the former Aussie great confessed that the team’s make up was according to conditions in Chennai, although the team is trying to adapt to the wickets in UAE.
“Yeah, certainly our team was based around playing in Chennai. Obviously, the spinners have been very effective there in the past but we will have to adapt and we have done it before,” Hussey said.
“Couple of seasons ago we had to move out of Chennai and had to play our home games in Pune and the team adapted really well to that. I think we are lucky because we go for experienced players generally and these players know their game really well and know how to react to different situations and different conditions. Fingers crossed we can adapt and also play a very good brand of cricket.”
CSK’s best bowler last season was Imran Tahir as the leg spinner ended the tournament with the Purple Cap. But the change in conditions have led CSK to opt for pace options among overseas players and that is the reason Tahir is yet to play a game in IPL 2020. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla too have failed to make a big impact and that has had an effect on CSK’s ability to restrict opponents to lower totals.
But the pitches in UAE too would slow down as the matches progress and the first hint of it was visible in CSK’s match against KKR in Abu Dhabi. Both teams struggled in the second half of their innings as CSK choked while chasing a gettable target again. There were positives as Karn Sharma looked good with his leg spin in his first match of the season and so did the likes of Bravo and Shardul Thakur.
CSK need to notch up a few wins now and they need to adapt as quickly as possible.