If CSK fail to make the last four grade in IPL-5, don’t blame Dhoni alone: Ganguly

Don’t blame Mahendra Singh Dhoni alone if Chennai Super Kings fail to make it to the playoff stage, writes Sourav Ganguly in Hindustan Times. “The race for a place in the top-four is in its final stage and I feel the Chennai Super Kings will play one of their most crucial games at Kolkata on Monday. Taking on KKR at the Eden Gardens will not be easy for MS Dhoni and company. I have a feeling that the Eden might well decide the fate of the two-time champions,” writes Ganguly.

“The Super Kings have had a dream run in this tournament since its inception. Runners-up in the first year, they reached the semifinals in the second edition and became champions in the third and fourth year. If CSK fail to make the last four grade this time, it will only be because of the collective failure of the team, and Dhoni alone should not be held responsible for this. CSK’S biggest drawback in IPL-V is that they have not been invincible at home. Also, they have struggled with the form of their main batters and the bowling lost sting till Ben Hilfenhaus joined them. It will be interesting to see how they gather themselves at this juncture. KKR have got the better of CSK in the away game but they will face a resolute Dhoni and company at the Eden,” opines Ganguly.

Meanwhile Anil Kumble writes in The Times Of India that nothing has changed in the last week so far as the IPL table is concerned. “Even now, seven teams are in the race for the four playoff berths, which means you should stop looking at the table and just focus on winning matches. From Bangalore’s perspective, the momentum is with us after three back-to-back wins, including two on the road,”writes Kumble, adding that what has given the team a lot of confidence is not just the way we have batted, but how we have bowled and fielded.

“The bowlers came good in Mumbai and bowled according to plan in Pune, so we could win both matches and keep ourselves in the hunt for a playoff spot.”

Meanwhile an article in The Hindu says that fifteen points from 14 games in the ongoing tournament do not reflect the two-time champion's consistency so far. “But two wins on the trot, including outplaying table topper Delhi Daredevils, clearly indicates that the team has gained the required momentum. This should stand CSK in good stead,” says the article.

“KKR was done in by a brilliant innings by Rohit Sharma. The absence of Brendon McCullum, owing to illness, and the early dismissal of skipper Gautam Gambhir proved to be the factors that contributed to the team's defeat on Saturday. Yet the team could take home some positives including Yusuf Pathan getting among runs for the first time this season. The KKR bowling, known to be measly, was found wanting against Mumbai Indians, owing to lack of discipline as far as line and length were concerned. The reverse against MI should be the host's wake up call,” adds the article.