Chennai Super Kings appear to have abandoned hopes of reaching the playoffs this season after succumbing to their seventh loss in 10 matches on Monday.
The MS Dhoni-captained Chennai have finished in the top four in every edition they have participated in the lucrative T20 tournament.
CSK have lifted the coveted IPL trophy three times with their last league title win coming in 2018 when they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the grand finale.
The Super Kings' journey in the IPL has also been fraught with controversy as the franchise was suspended for two years following an illegal betting scandal.
With four matches left in the round-robin phase of the competition, bottom-ranked CSK have marginal hopes of making it to the next stage.
Chennai have largely received backlash for persisting with aged players in the ongoing season despite most of them failing to step up and perform.
“This season, we were not really there,” Dhoni conceded after the special occasion of his 200th IPL match was marred by a seven-wicket thrashing at the hands of Rajasthan Royals.
“There were a few chances to the youngsters and maybe we didn’t see the kind of spark that they could have given us to say, okay, push [out] the experienced guy and maybe make some space for them.
“Today, the result, what it really does is give those guys whatever is left in our league stages, they will get a chance and they will have no real pressure on them. They can go out and express themselves.”
Chennai Super Kings' preparations ahead of IPL 2020 were beset by a spate of coronavirus infections in the touring party with the experienced duo of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh withdrawing from the tournament for personal reasons.
“It’s fair to say looking at the table now that this team may have run out of juice,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming bemoaned.