As the IPL 2020 approaches its business end, debate regarding the playoffs have begun. While Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians look strong contenders to book a spot in the final four, along with Royal Challengers Bangalore, who aren’t too behind on third, the real race will be between the teams placed in the second-half of the points table. Mostly for bottom-dwellers Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
On Monday, as RR won, it pushed CSK at the bottom of the points-table. The three-time champions are at a position where one more defeat can end their playoff hopes, also subject to how other teams fare. But despite such adversity, former India and CSK fast bowler Irfan Pathan believes that if there is one team to recover from such a scenario, it’s the Men in Yellow.
“If anyone can bounce back – from the seventh or eighth position, this is the team, CSK. CSK know very well how to handle the players, they make the players very comfortable. I was part of that squad in 2015. It’s all about the players. This franchise knows how to run cricket for 21-22 years. In the Chennai league as well, they run the team the same way. It’s all about players. You go out and perform, we will back you up,” Pathan said on Star Sports.
Pathan, who was part of the CSK set-up in 2015, went on to explain how the franchise takes massive care of its players, which is the reason why the franchise has fared so well across the seasons. Pathan gave an example.
“I’ve been part of a few franchises where the flights used to be early morning. After you finish the game at 11: 30 in the night, you go back and sleep by 2, get up at 6 in the morning, your recovery gets messed up. But CSK made sure that the flights and the players after the game will be later – after 12 or 2 in the afternoon, which means players will recover nicely. These are the small things,” he said.
Another reason why Pathan believes CSK can still turn the tables is due to the presence of MS Dhoni. Dhoni in the past has changed the fortunes of the side several times, the most notable being the 2010 season, where CSK lost five matches out of their first seven but eventually lifted the title by beating MI in the final. Pathan reckons it will be foolish to rule out CSK as long as Dhoni is leading the side.
“We know CSK have been good over the years, this year they’ve had problems with Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina not being there, quite a few injuries as well. But still we hope, just because they have a good captain Dhoni, who’s had so much success in IPL cricket, that he will take the team forward even with the kind of situation they are in at the moment,” he said.