Former India captain and chief selector Kris Srikkanth has ripped into Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni for his defence of the team’s show against Rajasthan Royals on Monday night. Batting first, CSK could only manage 125 and crashed to a seven-wicket loss.
This was CSK’s seventh loss in the ten matches thus far and they are languishing at the bottom of the table. This will be the first time in their eleven years of existence in the league that they might not (although there still is a mathematical chance) qualify for the play-off. They were the finalists last season and won the cup in the previous season.
After the loss last night Dhoni explained, “It’s not always supposed to go your way. We have to see if the process was wrong. The result is a by-product of the process, but the fact still remains that if you’re focused on the process, then the undue pressure of result doesn’t enter the dressing room.”
And it was the word process that got Srikkanth angry. Commenting on Star Sports (Tamil) he said, “I don’t agree with Dhoni’s process. If anything, the process of selection is wrong. You are saying youngsters (like Jagadeesan) don’t have sparks, Scooter Jadhav has sparks, is it? C’mon this is ridiculous, I won’t accept this answer today. By keeping on talking about the process, the whole tournament is getting over for CSK.”
One criticism that CSK has faced this year is not giving youngsters a chance despite the oldies like Kedar Jadhav and Piyush Chawla flopping. Dhoni defended, “You don’t want to chop and change. Insecurity is something you don’t want to prevail in the dressing room. Fair enough, this season we weren’t really there. Also the youngsters, we didn’t see the spark to push the guys. But what this result has done is give those youngsters a chance in the rest of the tournament. Maybe going forward we bring them in and they play without pressure.”
And in the studio, Srikkanth roared. “And now you say let’s see if youngsters have sparks. C’mon, N Jagadeesan showed sparks. I will ask cricketer S Ramesh (fellow panellist) what sparks did you see in Jadhav, Piyush Chawla? Karn Sharma gives runs but at least takes wickets. Chawla comes at times after the match is over. Ravindra Jadeja given more…. Anyways… I don’t agree.”
Srikkanth called Dhoni a great but refuse to his kore recent methods. “Anyways I don’t agree. Dhoni is a ‘pista’ (colloquial issue usage for great). Dhoni is at some other level, I am nowhere close to him but I don’t care about that here…I won’t agree with him.”
CSK coach Stephen Fleming admitted that the age has caught up with the squad. “If you’re looking at the three-year cycle – we won the first year, lost off the last ball last year, and we always thought that the third year with an ageing squad would be difficult. And Dubai [UAE] has challenged us with a whole new set of requirements,” he said.