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How Can Chennai Super Kings Still Qualify for Playoff in IPL 2024?

At the halfway point of the IPL 2024, the Chennai Super Kings are in trouble like a boat caught in a storm. The defending champions are presenting a different face than what we are used to as they can not hold onto their momentum. Consequently, the spectators and experts are at a loss. The set of losses to the Lucknow SuperGiants, both at home and far away, only compound their problems and more importantly give one a feeling that the teams now have no place to hide.

However, the announcement of Ruturaj Gaikwad as the brand new captain, who became captain in the final season of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s fantastic captaincy, brings a lot of meaning to this story. Gaikwad, dubbed as the leading man of CSK who takes the load of the team and shows them the way forward, plays a major role in the tournament through until the end. Every match for the Kings is now a battleground where their chances depend on their bowling. The burden on the team to perform is immensely heavy which increases the strain.

CSk road to playoff in IPL 2024

Setting their sorrows off, swinging is the unsystematic element in the bunch of Indian bowlers, who alternate between towering heights and the depths of the pit. The controversy influenced the group to crash at scoring many trips because by the time one trip happens, early wickets have begun to fall and this can swing the game a team’s way. In this rough sailing, the Super Kings must tether these problems immediately to rekindle their winning temperature and earn their promotion to playoff competition.

Buckling up and shaping themselves up as a stable entity in the realm of unpredictability and inconsistency will be a tough ask of the Chennai Super Kings. The team would only be able to secure the win if they give their 100% and regain their lost consistency in IPL.

How can CSK still make it to Playoffs in IPL 2024?

Despite the mixbag of a season for Chennai Super Kings, the road to playoff is not lost on them. With 11 games done and 3 more to go, winning is the only way forward for them.

In the recent fixtures, Chennai has performed well in chunks. They were absolutely spot on in each and every department, when they faced SRH. It was a massive victory with 78 runs, that saw them re-enter the playoff race with a position in the top 4.

However, a loss against Punjab brought them down again. It was another rare loss for them at home. It did make several question CSK’s chances of making it to playoffs. But every question was answered in their dominating win against Punjab in the reverse fixture away from their home. It was a dominating win, once again, where Punjab lost some early wickets and was left scampering to get a grip.

With this win, CSK climbed onto third position on the points table. They will be hoping to replicate these results in the upcoming games to cement their position in the top four, and qualify for playoffs.

28th April, Sunday: Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad at Chepauk

Chennai Super Kings won against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) led by Pat Cummins. As the captain, Cummins. SRH was 3rd on the log. They may have triumphed over CSK at their home ground in the past, but in their last match, they suffered a big defeat at the hands of the league’s bottom team, Royal Challengers Bangalore.

This is a great opportunity for CSK to redeem themselves from their recent failures. They should revert to their formula of using three spinners and recall Theekshana. Daryl Mitchell is in the dumps and this might be his last opportunity to do well. Should he flop once more, he will be dropped.

SRH has some tough matches to play in the coming days, allowing CSK to use their spinners and attack the SRH hitters, Travis Head, Klaasen, and Makram, who have shown difficulties in playing spin.

1st May, Wednesday: Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings at Chepauk

On Wednesday, May 1st, the Chepauk stadium will host the match of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against the Punjab Kings. CSK will be taking on Punjab who took all two points from them at the Chepauk last season. Though, this season Punjab is not having a great time and they seem to be in the bottom two of the table. They have though come close in their games, but getting wins in the matches has been their major challenge.

To add to their misery, one of their main players, Shikhar Dhawan, has been out of action due to injury, but he is expected to make a comeback. Challenges aside, Punjab is a strong opponent and CSK should not anticipate a walkover.

This match is a golden opportunity for CSK to bag two precious points, but complacency is never an option. They must review their batting order and stay away from experiments, especially the number 4 spot. With actual preparation and successful strategy implementation, CSK will benefit from this chance and further secure their place in the tournament standings.

5th May, Sunday: Punjab Kings vs Chennai Super Kings at HPCA

Following up with a game at home we will take a trip to Punjab for the return fixture. The performance of Punjab this season has been very poor, having won just two games this season and both of them have been in away venues. However, they have not won a game at their home ground in Mohali.

This season in the HPCA stadium there have been some high-scoring matches that will benefit Punjab’s balance towards batting. Nevertheless, Chennai Super Kings belong to some of the best batting teams. This match represents a golden chance for CSK to cash in big and take advantage of Punjab’s struggles at home ground. Having lost to Punjab once this season, Chennai Super Kings should enter this game with self-belief and determination to achieve a second vital win. CSK can target two wins in a row against Punjab Kings, thus consolidating their position in the table, by maintaining their batting dominance and capitalizing on Punjab’s weaknesses.

10th May, Friday: Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings at Narendra Modi Stadium

CSK will then travel to Ahmedabad to face Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium. As memories flash back to the 2023 IPL finals, the stage is prepared for yet another exciting clash. But the Gujarat Titans have been inconsistent this season, lying 7th with 4 wins from 9 matches. They have never won two games in a row and have failed to find their rhythm.

On the other hand, CSK enjoys an advantage, having already beaten the Titans at home during the current season. Consistency in the performance of the spin twins from Gujarat, Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan has been wanting and their death bowling has been particularly poor, especially in the absence of Shami.

Given the challenges that the Titans seem to be having on various fronts, this game looks like an easy chance for CSK to register a vital win and seal their road to the playoffs. With a series of relatively less difficult games coming up, CSK needs to make the most out of this progress by fortifying its stand in the top 2 of the points table of this tournament.

12th May, Sunday: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals at Chepauk

Our penultimate match this season sees us take on our most testing opponents yet as we welcome Rajasthan Royals (RR) to our place of play. RR has had an outstanding season this year having made the top two with a resounding record of 7 wins out of 8. What’s more, RR did us double over last season, a clear illustration of their dominance.

Captain Sanju Samson leads the table-topping RR. To compete with them we must prepare a tactical battle plan against the deadly spin attack that they have in the form of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin. Both these bowlers have been key contributors to the sustained success of RR and are a major threat to our batting lineup.

We must meticulously analyze their strengths and weaknesses and be accurate with our game plan as we prepare to face RR in this crucial game. Winning against RR will more than double our confidence but will also increase our possibility of ending well in the tournament.

18th May, Saturday: Royal Challengers Bengaluru vs Chennai Super Kings at Chinnaswamy

The league stage of the season is completed by the southern derby as Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, May 18th. This match is likely to decide where we finish in our top 2 about the order. Due to Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals’ consistent wins, tying with them in points puts our destiny into the hands of the Net Run Rate (NRR). Consequently, a good win is expected.

In contrast, Royal Challengers Bangalore is sitting at the foot of the table going through their worst run of form. In contrast, a struggling opponent does not mean complacency. To have a chance to qualify we should finish first in 4 of our remaining 6 matches and to aim for a top 2 finish we should win all 6 games.

This game is not only one that will guarantee our success but also one that will help us show that we are the best and teach all our competitors a lesson. A good display here will not only shade our confidence but also strengthen us as the title contenders. On the trail to this vital game, concentration and intention will be our leading models to the victory that we need from this tournament.

The Chennai Super Kings are moving towards the critical period of the season and the changes in the team’s lineup show a search for the winning combination. The call to drop Rachin Ravindra and try Rahane as an opener has not borne fruit yet. But, since at this stage, the group gets lighter with a lot of attainable matches ahead, playing three out of six games at home and being at an advantage, securing a top 2 finish seems clearer.

CSK have to make the most of their home benefit and win every home game. Moreover, they have to at least obtain two victories from three away matches to cement their second position. With Mustafizur Rahman missing in action after April and Devon Conway leaving the IPL, the addition of Richard Gleeson to the team gives a fresh dimension. Yet, the performance needs to be consistent and the Indian core of the bowling certainly plays a crucial role in the victory.

While the team sets its sights on overcoming obstacles and achieving greatness the passionate chant of “Whistle Podu!” resounds in the hearts of fans backing the Chennai Super Kings towards success.

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