'Would've taken a lot of wickets. The surfaces were perfect for his game': Shastri identifies 'biggest problem' for CSK
- IPL 2022: After suffering four straight defeats, Chennai Super Kings went out of the reckoning for a play-off spot quite early in the season
One of the most successful sides in the IPL, four-time champions Chennai Super Kings ended their campaign at the penultimate spot, managing just four wins in 14 games. Most senior players like MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa endured a mediocre season with the willow. The franchise also lacked depth in bowling with Josh Hazlewood's departure to Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deepak Chahar's injury. IPL 2022 Full Coverage
Chennai went out of the reckoning for a play-off spot quite early in the season. While rookie pacers Mukesh Choudhary and Simarjeet Singh's performance was among the bright spots, the major talking point was Chahar's absence from the fast bowling mix.
The bowling all-rounder was ruled out of the season with a back injury. Chahar had suffered a hamstring injury during the home series against the West Indies in February. His absence might have affected the team balance, with Chennai suffering four straight defeats at the start of the season.
Chahar, known for his ability to swing the new ball, was the second-most expensive player at the February auction with a staggering price tag of ₹14 crore. Chennai's bowling suffered because of his non-availability and former India head coach Ravi Shastri feels Chahar would have left a mark with his ability to pluck early wickets.
"The biggest problem for CSK was Deepak Chahar's unavailability. He is the type of pacer who can give you one or two wickets upfront. They definitely missed that. He would have taken a lot of wickets this season, considering the pitches. There was some swing on offer with the new ball and the surfaces were perfect for his game," Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.
Shastri further said Chennai will look to invest in youngsters despite a lacklustre IPL season. He believes the franchise needs to pick up a middle-order batter and a fast bowler during the transfer window.
"If MS Dhoni is the captain for the next season, he will surely persist with youngsters like Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh and Maheesh Theekshana. These guys will improve. However, they will have to try and rope in a middle-order batter and a fast bowler when the transfer window opens," said Shastri.
While Chennai fans faced a nightmarish season after winning the title last year, Dhoni put a smile on their faces with his decision to "definitely" play in the IPL next year. The 40-year-old Dhoni put to rest speculations around his participation in the lucrative T20 league, saying it would be "unfair" to the city after which the franchise is named.
"Definitely, I will play next year. It would be unfair not to say thank you to Chennai, to not play in Chennai. It won't be nice to the CSK fans," Dhoni said at the toss for CSK's final match against Rajasthan Royals.