Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni has effectively started preparing for next year's Indian Premier League during a disappointing 2020 campaign.
The Super Kings have slumped to last position in the 2020 IPL's eight-team standings. They have won just eight matches in 11 attempts and have all but been ruled out of contention for a playoff berth.
“It is important for us have a clear picture about next year. There are a lot of ifs and buts: the kind of auction we are looking into next year, where the venues will be,” said Dhoni.
“It is always good to give guys who have not so far got enough chances to form a settled playing XI. You give them enough chances to really give them a platform where they can perform and show their talent.”
There are a few players in the Chennai squad who have not played a match this season. New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner is among them – and might be included in the XI soon enough.
“The coming three games will be an ideal opportunity. We have to make the most of it because you don't really want to be in a situation like that, but once you are what's the most that you can get? And it is preparation for the next year,” added Dhoni.
CSK's Injured Absentees
The Super Kings, who have won the IPL three times, have been limited by the absence of experience trio Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina and Dwayne Bravo this year. Singh and Raina withdrew from the squad before the tournament started. Bravo was recently sidelined by a groin injury.
“Whenever you're not doing well, there can be hundred reasons, especially if you sit and pick up the reasons as to why we're not doing well,” concluded Dhoni.
“But, the main thing you ask yourself or as a team is whether you're playing to the potential that you've got. Like, say, whatever the conditions may be, when you put up a playing XI that looks good on paper, have they done enough to translating that good stats that they've got onto the field?
“I think this year, we've not done that and cumulatively when three or four of your batsmen aren't doing well in the batting order, it becomes more and more difficult.”
The Mumbai Indians are the reigning IPL champions, having beaten Chennai in the 2019 final.