Indian Premier League’s most successful and ‘calm’ team is Chennai Super Kings but 2020 has been different. When all the other IPL teams are making good sounds, the launch of CSK ‘s campaign in UAE has been anything but positive or peaceful. As many as 13 people of their touring group were diagnosed for COVID-19, including two players.
Soon after, for personal reasons Star player Suresh Raina left the country and the competition. It followed several hypotheses and controversial remarks by owner N Srinivasan. Dismissals and explanations followed, and at some point, Raina even said he might return to the camp.
While all other teams have started practicing, Chennai Super Kings also awaits the completion of the testing and isolation procedures in their hotel rooms.
Luckily for Chennai Super Kings, their main asset is their top group of people. Or MS Dhoni, to be exact. Srinivasan also noted that Dhoni was in ‘full charge,’ as he was in Chennai Super Kingsthroughout all times. Not just Dhoni, the team has seen plenty of ups and downs too-one of them was suspended from IPL for two years. Therefore CSK will know how to deal with this situation and not panic.
The power of CSK on the cricket front too is their captain. If one had to refer to one particular factor over the years for CSK ‘s performance, he/she would close their eyes and point to MS Dhoni. They are granted balance on and off the field by Dhoni.
Aside from Dhoni, the success of CSK is a product of their experience and their flexibility. They overcame the accusation that they were an aged team to take the championship in 2018, reflecting age maturity. After only one match, their home games were moved from Chennai to Pune, but CSK had it in them to adapt to various conditions and keep on winning.
Even this year CSK will look to do something closely related. This time, they could welcome the change to the UAE’s slow and spinning pitches provided their spin power. Imran Tahir, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Sai Kishore, and Mitchell Santner-they have a broad range of spin choices. Owing to the nuances, bowlers like Dwayne Bravo would love to bowl on such tracks too.
Last season CSK had huge gaps in their batting team, and Dhoni always bailed them out. The captain scored more than 400 runs, handily leading the batting on several occasions.
No other CSK batsman did 400 in the season and this year, given the conditions, batting will only be tougher. And they do not have Raina with them this time. The No. 3 only made 383 runs in IPL 2019 but is still a massive name for CSK and his unavailability will make the team modify its combination.
CSK finished runner-up in 2019, losing to Mumbai Indians by just one run.
Highest scorer: MS Dhoni, 416 runs
Highest wicket-taker: Imran Tahir, 26 wickets.
Many notable buys
CSK has secured a majority of their players ahead of the contract auction for IPL 2020. They also made some important acquisitions. England’s only 22-year-old Sam Curran can give CSK the much-needed, fresh legs. Curran is just the player sort that Dhoni would love to work with-handy with the bat, extremely competent with the ball. Will be fascinating to see if Dhoni uses Curran.
Piyush Chawla’s other big investment. CSK had been aware of what they were doing. CSK had been aware of what they were doing. Chawla has played alongside him, picking up 150 wickets at IPL. The move to the UAE tournament could make the purchase even more worthwhile.
History in IPL
CSK is the only team that has made it to the last four of every season of which they were part. They won this tournament thrice 2010, 2011, and 2018.
MS Dhoni(C), Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Narayan Jagdeesan, Karn Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Monu Kumar, Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazlewood, P Sai Kishore.