Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be looking to give youngsters an opportunity to make an impression in the remaining matches of the IPL after Chennai Super Kings suffered a humiliating defeat to Mumbai Indians.
Chennai crashed to a 10-wicket defeat to Rohit Sharma's Mumbai on Friday, which highlighted the struggles of Chennai's ageing squad. It was the Super Kings' eighth defeat in 11 matches and they only retain a mathematical chance of making the playoffs.
Chennai could manage only 114-9, a total four-time champions Mumbai chased down in 12.2 overs without losing a wicket.
"Whenever you're not doing well, there can be a hundred reasons, but one of the main things you ask yourself is whether you've played to the potential you've got, no matter the conditions," Dhoni said.
"And this year we haven't. Cumulatively there have been batting failures."
Chennai have been dubbed 'Dad's Army' because of the presence of numerous over-35 players like Dhoni, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Imran Tahir in the team. That will now change.
Dhoni, 39, who retired from international cricket in August, said young players will be fielded in the remaining games.
"I think it's important for us to have a clear picture of next year. There are lots of ifs and buts – the auction, where the venues will be. The coming three games will be an ideal opportunity to give platforms," said Dhoni.
"See some of the youngsters in preparation for next year, see who will bat and who bowls at the death and soaks the pressure. A few more who are on the bench will get games in the coming three games."
Luck was also a factor, said the 39-year-old who led India to World Cup titles in both T20 and ODI formats.
"In cricket, when you're going through a tough phase, there are a few things that need to go your way.
"A bit of luck is always good and I felt in this tournament it hasn't really gone our way. The games where we wanted to bat first, we haven't really won the toss and in games batting second, the wicket has slowed down..."
Watson was dropped for the Mumbai game but South African Imran Tahir, 41, played his first match of the season.
"We had a problem of balance all the way through" with the spin bowling "ineffective", said coach Stephen Fleming explaining the introduction of the IPL's oldest player.
Dhoni, once of the game's best finishers but who took more than a year off after India's elimination from the 2019 World Cup, has been slammed for his go-slow approach this season.
Chennai "are looking like an ageing boxer in the ring against younger fighters who are throwing more punches than he can handle," veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter.