Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that it would require a Herculean effort from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) if they are to make it through to the IPL 2020 playoffs.
He made this observation while reviewing the MS Dhoni-led team's crushing defeat against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra mentioned that the Chennai Super Kings' chances in the tournament do not look bright, considering that they have lost five of their seven matches so far.
"Mahi's Chennai, where do you go from here, it looks very very bleak. There was hope that CSK would do well as they are halfway through the season, playing their seventh match, and they had won only two."
The reputed commentator pointed out that it will be an uphill task for the Chennai Super Kings to qualify for the playoffs, as they would need to win at least five - if not six - of their remaining seven encounters.
"It means they would have to climb Mt. Everest to qualify for the playoffs. If they win six out of the remaining seven matches they will confirm their spot, and will have an outside chance if they win five. But do they have the ability to win five out of seven is the question that will be asked."
Talking about yesterday's encounter, Aakash Chopra observed that the Chennai Super Kings bowlers did a decent job although Virat Kohli's blitzkrieg at the end took RCB to about 20 runs more than what they could have been restricted to.
"They made a change by picking Jagadeesan in place of Kedar Jadhav. Their bowling was still okay as they had kept RCB in check until a point. It seemed that they will be able to restrict RCB to around 150 but Kohli's blitz took them beyond 160."
Aakash Chopra on the Chennai Super Kings batting effort
Aakash Chopra questioned the intent of the Chennai Super Kings batsmen in the run-chase. They didn't hit a six in the first 15 overs and let the required run rate mount.
"It was a total they could have chased, there was no turn on the pitch, the ball was coming nicely onto the bat but the way they have batted, it was the first time in the tournament that a team did not hit a single six in the first 15 overs."
The former KKR player observed that the Chennai Super Kings are not able to show their dominance and are in deep trouble.
"It tells that it is not working out for CSK and that they are actually in dire straits right now."
"Watson and Faf du Plessis got out, Rayudu tried to play slowly to get back his form, which is understandable. Jagadeesan was playing his first match, so you cannot be too critical."
The 43-year-old mentioned that MS Dhoni has not been able to play the big shots consistently despite his best efforts.
"Dhoni is trying but he is not able to do it. Last match also it happened against Varun Chakravarthy and here he did hit a six off Chahal, the old Mahi way, but then he also got out and then they lost by a huge margin."
He also highlighted that the massive margin of defeat could hit the Chennai Super Kings hard.
"Earlier they used to lose by small margins but now their margin of defeats have also increased. A loss by 37 runs in a T20 match is quite big."
While observing that the Chennai Super Kings have made a comeback from a similar situation earlier, Aakash Chopra sounded pessimistic of their chances of doing so this time around.
"Can Chennai bounce back from here, I don't have an answer for it. I am not looking very optimistic although it had happened in 2010 as well when they had lost five of their first seven matches and then went on to win the tournament but it is not 2010, it is 2020."
The Chennai Super Kings are currently placed sixth in the IPL 2020 points table with 4 points in their kitty. They seem to be falling behind in the race for a berth in the playoffs, with the top four teams already having 8 points in their bags along with a match in hand.
Published 11 Oct 2020, 10:44 IST