Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have had a woeful start to their campaign in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 with back-to-back losses in their first two matches. CSK lost their opener against Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets before facing a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Lucknow Super Giants in their next encounter.
The defending champions have failed to impress so far in the league after MS Dhoni passed over the captaincy baton to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The absence of pacer Deepak Chahar and the unavailability of Adam Milne and Chris Jordan in their last game against Lucknow have hurt CSK so far this season.
While the bowlers have struggled, CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has also failed to fire in the tournament so far. The Orange Cap winner from last season has scores of 0 and 1 in CSK’s first two matches of the season. However, former skipper MS Dhoni has showcased good form despite having not played any competitive cricket in the build-up to the tournament.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes CSK skipper Jadeja will be under the pressure after two straight losses in the first two games. Shastri believes the openers will have to fire for CSK in order to get their season on track or it will be difficult for them to defend their title.
“It’s a cause for concern when both openers are not performing. It’s very important for one of the openers to strike form as soon as possible because they have lost two matches. There’s a new captain at the helm, and he’s under pressure. Yes, Dhoni is in form but if one of those openers doesn’t score then CSK will find it difficult in this tournament,” Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo.
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Gaikwad had opened the batting with Devon Conway in the opening game against KKR where he fell for a duck while the Kiwi batter was dismissed after scoring 3 off 8 balls. In their second game against Lucknow, Gaikwad perished cheaply once again on just 1 while Conway was dropped from the playing XI with Robin Uthappa taking his spot.
Gaikwad is expected to continue opening the batting with Utahppa in CSK’s next game against Punjab Kings on Sunday. Shastri said the young opener needs to take his time out in the middle and get used to the pace of the wicket before trying to go after the bowlers.
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“Ruturaj needs to give himself some time. He’s a good timer of the ball, he can make up for the slow starts later because he has a lot of shots. If he’s a bit careful at the start and gets a bit used to the pace of the wicket, the runs will automatically come… These pitches are good for batting. In comparison to last year, there’s more bounce on this wicket and the ball is coming onto the bat nicely,” said Shastri.