Just two days before the start of the ongoing IPL edition, Ravindra Jadeja was appointed the captain of Chennai Super Kings as he took over the leadership duties from MS Dhoni. But the star all-rounder last week handed the captaincy back to the former skipper in order to focus on his game. Jadeja has been terribly out of form this season, having scored just 116 runs at an average of 19.33 in 10 games, while taking five wickets at an economy rate of 7.52. (Follow IPL 2022 Coverage)
On Wednesday, Jadeja was dismissed for three as CSK went down by 13 runs against Royal Challengers Bangalore, their seventh loss overall. The four-time IPL winners have been pushed to the brink of elimination with just six points from 10 games.
Jadeja has looked a pale shadow of his former self but he’s got the backing of coach Stephen Fleming, who labelled the T20 format as a ‘tough’ endeavour. Fleming further said the team will evaluate which batting position is best suited for the star all-rounder.
“No, I am not concerned. The T20 game can be tough and when you are batting at No 5 or 6, you do not get a lot of time to get your rhythm or tempo,” Fleming said during a virtual press conference.
“We will look at it now and work out what the best order would be going forward. But, no I am not concerned about his form.”
Chennai Super Kings haven’t clicked this season despite winning their fourth IPL title last year in the UAE. Fleming made no bones in admitting that they “have been off in all departments”.
“Our fielding at times, the catches we dropped is of concern. We are not far away, in a lot of games you can say we were really close to winning them. We had the games taken away or we were not good enough to get across the line. But that’s usually the story of the competition if you are just off. All three departments have been below par,” he said.
“We lost some bowlers also, you have to acknowledge that but yeah, we have been just off.”
Fleming also underlined the absence of key players from his set-up. The franchise went all out to buy back Deepak Chahar for a staggering ₹14 crore in the February auction. But the most expensive IPL signing for CSK was ruled out of the entire season due to a back injury. England all-rounder Moeen Ali also missed a few games after injuring his ankle.
“We had a couple of players we had in our plans whom we lost early on, so we looked at bringing young players in, probably, little bit ahead of their times. Mukesh Choudhury has developed well, Simranjit is getting an opportunity here,” Fleming said.
“But we just have been off our balance and competition as tight as this, that can be the difference. We have some very good spin options.”