Is Chennai Super Kings the most ideal T20 team? Probably not. But MS Dhoni’s side ticks a lot of boxes for the category. They would love to retain the coveted IPL trophy.
Will Chennai Super Kings win IPL 2019?
Time will tell. Let’s look at their previous season’s numbers and deduce how Chennai Super Kings pulled off one of the greatest tournament wins in T20s history.
Before the IPL 2018 started, a number of cricket analysts ruled out any hopes of Chennai Super Kings winning the title. Why were they so sure about Chennai not putting a title challenge? Age.
The average age of the core team of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2018 – 34.5 years. In a format which is tailored for raw young blood to showcase their talent, people thought that MS Dhoni’s men were well past their best.
What followed afterwards was a bunch of sizzling performances by the ‘aged lot’ rolling back years and winning IPL 2018 in style.
Chennai Super Kings found different heroes in different situations. The players bailed the team out on several occasions. After a two-years suspension, there was the team doing what they do best.
Winning matches ‘The Mahi Way’ one after another.
Chennai Super Kings – The Crisis Managers
No one can deny the fact that Chennai Super Kings thrived in the subject – ‘How-To-Manage-A-Crisis’ last season. Chennai were always one level ahead of their opposition. And you just need to be one level ahead than others to win the tournament.
If Shane Watson did not click, it was his fellow opening partner Ambati Rayudu who would guide the team to a winning position.
145 – Number of sixes hit by Chennai Super Kings batsmen in IPL 2018 is the most by a side in a single edition of IPL. Followed by CSK, Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen had hit 142 sixes in 2016.
If MS Dhoni departed early during a run chase, it was the T20 superstar Dwayne Bravo snatching the game away from opposition with his sheer hitting.
Well, Let’s Chase ‘Em Down – ‘The Mahi Way’
Chennai Super Kings made their real statement through batting in 2018 season. CSK scored the most number of runs in the whole tournament. Not only they put a ton of runs on board, they lost fewer wickets too.
Only Delhi Daredevils lost fewer wickets than Chennai Super Kings.
One of the many reasons behind Chennai Super Kings’ tournament win was they did not buckle under pressure in crunch situations.
Dwayne Bravo’s 68 (30) against Mumbai Indians, Sam Billings’ 56 (23) against Kolkata Knight Riders, MS Dhoni’s 70* (34) against Kings XI Punjab – The list is not endless, however, there are a couple more innings that could have made this list.
Different players rose to the occasion and they finished games more often than not.
This particular stat speaks volumes about the match finishing abilities of Chennai Super Kings players. Compare Chennai Super Kings’ numbers with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Kane Williamson’s side scored 167 runs lesser than MS Dhoni’s side between 15-20 overs in the tournament and lost 26 wickets more.
Chennai Super Kings players also scored at a staggering strike rate of 198.8 during 17-20 overs in IPL 2018. There is a considerable difference in strike rate between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Will Chennai Super Kings win IPL 2019?
To start things off, CSK have a great opening combination. Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu made a total of 1,157 runs in IPL 2018. They seem to have formed an unsaid partnership in which these two compliment each other like no one else.
The middle order is well balanced and the team is extremely versatile. Experience is one factor that sits on the top of ladder. Players of CSK have won trophies with different teams. There is a winning mentality imprint in Chennai Super Kings’ DNA.
7 T20 tournaments won by MS Dhoni – most by any captain. His tally includes three IPL, Two CLT20, one World T20 and one Asia Cup T20 tournament. Co-incidentally his jersey number is also 7.
CSK’s death bowling was single-handedly the weakest point last season but with Luigi Ngidi and David Willey, one hopes for massive improvements on that front.
And the biggest difference between Chennai Super Kings and all the other IPL teams – Mahendra Singh Dhoni.