The day top order fails, CSK's weakness will get exposed, says Aakash Chopra
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has found some chinks in the armour of MS Dhoni’s men as he underlined the weak middle order of Chennai Super Kings ahead of the IPL playoffs that begin October 10.
Chopra said the CSK’s top three batsmen — Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, and Moeen Ali — have been doing exceptionally well for their team. The trio has very well protected the team’s “soft underbelly”, hinting at the poor batting forms of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni himself. Speaking during a commentary session, Chopra said that MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina’s forms are ‘weaklings’ the Chennai team needs to work upon ahead of the playoffs.
“Suresh Raina has still not scored runs and Dhoni’s bat hasn’t spoken to because he has not got himself to bat much at all. Of course [Ravindra] Jadeja is brilliant, Ruturaj [Gaikwad] is great and so if Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali is saving you too, but these are the weaklings that give you opportunities to improve and reach the playoffs with momentum,” Aakash Chopra said.
“I expect runs from the bats of Dhoni and Raina. Ruturaj has been absolutely sensational and I believe he’ll continue to play as he has. But it is also certain that on a day when Ruturaj, Faf, and Moeen get out early, Chennai’s soft under-belly will be exposed.”
Chopra said that Sam Curran may not help further CSK’s fortunes. They need in-form all-rounder DJ Bravo back in the playing XI. “Sam Curran is not looking the same player [he was]. He hasn’t got opportunities with the bat but Sam Curran, the bowler, is now looking for a patch of who he was. To be fair, it was the same case in the [India-England] Test series. So if you have to win the match, you’ll have to play Bravo at any cost.”
As things stand today, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have qualified for the play-offs, but the no. 1 team is yet to be decided. The two teams face each face other in Dubai on Monday (October 4).