Head coach Stephen Fleming admits the ‘mood is pretty down’ after Chennai Super Kings lost to Rajasthan Royals to slip to the bottom of the Indian Premier League table.
The Super Kings won the IPL in 2018 and were beaten finalists last year, but are enduring a miserable current campaign, losing seven of their ten matches so far.
They suffered a seven-wicket defeat to Rajasthan on Monday, with England star Jos Buttler scoring an unbeaten 70 to help the Royals chase down Chennai’s below-par total of 125-5.
Four victories from their final four games may not even be enough to see Chennai secure a play-off spot and head coach Fleming admits the mood in the camp is sombre.
‘The mood is pretty down and that’s fair enough,’ the New Zealand hero said.
‘We’ve come close in a few games but today we were thoroughly outplayed. We knew it was a crucial game to stay in the competition.
‘There’s still an outside chance we will get through but when you’re relying on other results it’s hard to be positive.
‘We’ve got to look at our next four games and either get back in the competition or find out some answers with some other players we’ve got.’
Chennai could only post 125 against Rajasthan after being reduced to 56-4, with Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring with 35.
England World Cup hero Jofra Archer produced another impressive performance for the Royals, claiming figures of 1-20 from his four overs.
Rajasthan lost three early wickets during their chase but Buttler and Steve Smith (26*) shared a 98-run partnership to inflict another defeat on CSK.
Fleming added: ‘When you lose wickets on slow conditions, you’re exposed to the spinners and it was difficult to increase the run-rate.
‘We lost wickets throughout and those consolidation periods became longer and we couldn’t get any momentum. They bowled well and we couldn’t get them away.
‘Jos played an exceptional innings and was a lot different to the rest of the batsmen who found it difficult. He took our spinners out of the game.’
Chennai captain MS Dhoni, meanwhile, said: ‘It’s not always supposed to go your way. We have to see if the process was wrong.
‘The result is a by-product of the process, but the fact still remains that if you’re focused on the process then the undue pressure of a result doesn’t enter the dressing room.
‘You don’t want to make changes after four or five games because you won’t be sure of anything, but we will have a look now.’
Chennai Super Kings face defending champions Mumbai Indians in a must-win match on Friday.
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