The defending champions Chennai Super Kings started off their IPL 2012 (IPL 5) campaign with a loss to Mumbai Indians. For the start, it seems like CSK have lost their home advantage due to the nature of the new pitch laid in MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai. The batting looked clueless on the new pitch and their slow bowlers were not as effective as they used to be.
Clearly, CSK's batting looks pretty ordinary. I personally feel that they don't have a solid batsman in the category of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis. They are certainly missing Michael Hussey, one player who could fit in the slot nicely. CSK owes their success last year to the solid batting by Michael Hussey up the order. CSK enjoyed the same support in the earlier versions from another Australian, Mathew Hayden. It seems this solid batting is missing this time. Vijay is a pale shadow of the hero who managed some extraordinary batting in the earlier IPLs.
Did CSK owners spent too much money to get Ravindra Jadeja? I am not sure, but that is the feeling one gets from his performance in the first match. He bowled one expensive over and did not trouble the scorers too much while he batted. Time and again he proves that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's trust on him is misplaced. But, in IPL, I believe Jadeja may come good. If CSK is to match the success of last year, he needs to step up.
The bowling looked better; Albie Morkel bowled well, Doug Bollinger was on fire (even though not on target), Ashwin was economical, Bravo showed he is a good all-rounder.
IPL is a long tournament; so, one loss should not matter too much. But, only the manner in which it was lost is a concern. Dhoni & his team has to gather themselves quickly for their next match against Deccan Chargers. This is an away game; CSK were not a great team outside Chennai so far. They have to change that at the earliest, with the home advantage slipping from their hands.