Deepak Chahar, the Chennai Super Kings pacer, cites a few reasons, the combination of which, led to the team’s worst outing in any IPL season last year. In the IPL 2020, which was staged in the UAE, the 3-time winners finished 7th on the points table – it was the first time in their history that CSK didn’t qualify for the playoffs in the IPL.
Deepak Chahar says that the lack of cricket for several cricketers – some retired, some not in the national team – in the line-up prior to the tournament was one of the key reasons for their collective downfall.
The seamer further points out that he and Ruturaj Gaikwad – and few other members of the contingent – had tested positive for covid-19 before the commencement of the season in the UAE; they were hence placed in extended quarantine which made it difficult to hit the ground running straight away when the tournament started.
“The situation before the start of the IPL 2020 season was really bad for us. There are a lot of players in our squad who don’t play regularly and hence we needed practice. We wanted to go to Dubai early but couldn’t get permission. So, we put a small 5–6-day camp in Chennai,” Deepak Chahar told Sportskeeda.
“I was then tested COVID positive and had to quarantine myself for 16-17 days. Ruturaj Gaikwad also tested positive and had to quarantine himself for 28 days. If you are a bowler and you have had COVID-19 then it is really difficult to recover within 20-25 days and get back to your best,” he added.
Suresh Raina’s absence affected the balance of the squad: Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar, who has become one of the finest new-ball bowlers in the country, also noted stalwart Suresh Raina’s absence from the eleven last year a factor that weakened their batting. The left-hander returned back to India from the UAE for personal reasons.
However, Raina made his return to the eleven this season and made an impact on the team’s fortunes. Before the IPL 2021 was suspended, the MS Dhoni-led outfit was going strong, sitting on the second spot with 5 wins from 7 matches.
“Even Raina Bhai wasn’t there and his absence did weaken our batting. His absence affected the balance of the squad, something which was restored in the IPL 2021 season when he returned,” the 28-year old seamer asserted.
The IPL is set to resume in September in the UAE, the BCCI announced on Saturday.