MUMBAI: Several Chennai Super Kings players have conceded following the team's failed campaign in IPL 2022 that they "did not play" to their expectations, which ultimately contributed to the four-time IPL champions finishing a dismal ninth this season.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led defending champions won just four of their 14 league games, finishing only above five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians.
"Many people would be saying that we did not have luck going our way or we did not have things going our way. I would be very honest and tell them that we did not play to our expectations. But, as I said, we have to accept things and move forward," said CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Orange Cap winner for scoring the most runs (635) in the 2021 IPL season.
One of the main reasons for CSK's poor performance this season was Gaikwad's indifferent form, but the 25-year-old Maharashtra cricketer said that the team will come back stronger next season.
"You (CSK fans) have our backs. We will come out of this year really stronger next year," he added.
CSK's prolific run-getter, New Zealand's Devon Conway, told CSK TV that, "We all know it wasn't quite our year this time. We can accept that and move on. We will bounce back next year. It's not because of lack of trying or practice, we just didn't quite play at our best this year. Things will be better next year, for sure."
Young right-arm pace bowler Simarjeet Singh indicated that during the latter part of the IPL 2022 season, self-doubts had started creeping into the minds of the players after a series of losses in spite of due processes being followed.
"When you lose, even if the process that you followed was the right one, you tend to question it. In hindsight, you feel as if you could have done things in a different way. But, we all are trying to learn something from this. From every game, if we try to extract as many learnings as possible, that will hold us in good stead," said Singh.
Sri Lankan pace bowler Maheesh Theekshana felt that despite the failed season, it was important the players don't lose trust in their ability ahead of the next IPL season.
"All the guys really did well, but we were not consistent. Like MS Dhoni says, trust in your ability, do what you can do, result does not matter. The process matters," said Theekshana.
On a positive note, batter Shivam Dube, who played some good innings, said, "The story is not complete yet. It is not over."