An outfit that seems to have a vice like grip on the IPL are the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and their enviable record of 2 title wins and 3 finishes as runners up in the 6 editions of the tournament so far paints the picture of a team that is used to winning. So let’s have a look at the team and the factors that make them so good, although certain definite weaknesses will also be looked into.
M.S. Dhoni, Srikanth Anirudha, Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashiwn, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Akila Dnanjaya, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Holder, Mike Hussey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, R. Karthikeyan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ben Laughlin, Ronit More, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Suresh Raina, Ankit Rajpoot, Wriddhiman Saha, Vijay Shankar, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay.
So, as one can notice, CSK is a team that is a pretty well stocked team with a nice blend of noted internationals, past greats (Mike Hussey) as well some of the brightest young talents in the domestic circuit and in addition to that, the incredible squad depth makes it possible for them to rotate their players as and when the need arises throughout the 8 odd weeks of the IPL.
On the other hand, the team management usually does excellent business during the auctions by picking up players who add something new to the side. When they felt that there was a need for a spinning all rounder they promptly bought Ravindra Jadeja for a whopping $2 million back in 2012 and his contribution has been quite vital to the team’s cause over the past 2 seasons. It can be concluded that the team is a well oiled unit and the complete support of the management makes sure that the team is able to strengthen in the necessary areas every season.
In Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the CSK not only have the best captain in the tournament but arguably the best captain for limited overs cricket ever and that shows in the way they approach the game. Dhoni is the sort of captain that every team will kill for and if anyone has followed the IPL for any length of time he would realise his captaincy has often been the difference between victory and defeat. For instance, in the 2010 IPL Final versus Mumbai Indians, Dhoni decided to keep a mid off as well as a long off as a strategy to nullify the effect of Keiron Pollard in a tight final. Sure enough, he hit one straight to the mid off fielder to seal Mumbai’s fate in the final. Add to that his incredible ability of power hitting and calculative hitting and you have the perfect T20 batsman.
The biggest strength of the team lies in its procession of world class batsmen starting from Mike Hussey at the top of the order to M.S.Dhoni at number 7, with Badrinath playing the role of a floater who is called upon for stability when there is a collapse of sorts. Moreover, the likes of Raina, Murali Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja along with Dhoni make sure that they can set stiff targets at a regular basis. Consequently, CSK have the ability of chasing down any target as well. It is a compact unit that is at work at CSK and another unique feature of the usual starting eleven is that they have a wealth of all rounders that Dhoni can call upon if the frontline bowlers get a bit of a pasting. The best thing is that the captain has a backup plan in a worst case scenario and that is a luxury that very few captains in the IPL have.
The only apparent weakness that has proven to be their Achilles heel over the years has been their death bowling and the fact that they do no possess a single bowler who can simply blow the opposition away on his day. The CSK bowlers are mainly good at containing and their primary strategy is to strangle the opposition, but when it fails then there is nothing much that Dhoni can do. Perhaps they should add a proven wicket taker in their squad in the next auction.
Oh Dear – Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni – What Have You Done !!
Meiyappan / BCCI Corruption
The Power of BCCI
By Soham Samaddar
Image Source: Logo from official web site