From being the first team to get eliminated from the race of playoffs in IPL 2020 to the first team to make it into the playoffs and now to the Finals of India Premier League 2021, Chennai Super Kings definitely know how to make a strong comeback. They dream, they work for it and then they achieve it.
Chennai Super Kings, the three-time former champions, had a disappointing season last year when they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their history. It was not the best of seasons for them in the UAE, with a lot of off-field issues and on-field struggles when CSK’s journey ended last season. Dhoni said “We’ll come back stronger, that’s what we are known for,” and they did just that.
This season, Chennai Super Kings have had a great season. Each and every department has excelled in their respective areas. They have some great players who have made the IPL 2021 journey for CSK an easier one.
Ruturaj Gaikwad is undoubtedly a technically sound opener who has set the ongoing IPL 2021 on fire with his blistering knocks. He has earned the trust of captain cool with his several classy knocks. This young batsman came into the limelight after his phenomenal late-season performance for CSK in IPL 2020. At that time, CSK were losing games, but Gaikwad was among a few of those who kept on scoring runs. He hit three consecutive half-centuries back then.
Another great player for CSK is Ravindra Jadeja without whom the CSK team is incomplete. "Sir Jadeja" will be added to the list of those players without whom CSK wouldn’t have come this far. He scored 37 runs in Harshal Patel’s over in phase one and he is someone Dhoni can rely on when in need.
“Faf du Plessis has exceeded expectations, never rated him as a dangerous T20 batsman” quoted former Indian Player Gautam Gambhir. Faf is the second highest run scorer for CSK this season with 547 runs in 15 matches. Someone said it right; there is no alternative to experience. With the experienced players in the squad, CSK knows when a player is in good form, they make the most of it and Faf has shown to come up with the goods this season most frequently.
Suresh Raina’s replacement in qualifier 1, Robin Uthappa warmed the bench for CSK before he got the opportunity to bat in the last few games of the league stage and he indeed played the most vital knock for CSK.
The bowling department of Chennai Super Kings is led by Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur. Both of them have performed brilliantly well in the ongoing IPL season. Dhoni uses Chahar both in power plays and death overs and indeed he performed as per the expectation. Thakur picked up 18 wickets while Chahar has taken 13 wickets so far this season. Sam Curran is another consistent player for CSK in both bowling and batting department with nine wickets before he was ruled out due to injury.
With all of this comes the leadership of MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings. His cameo in the 1st qualifier match against Delhi Capitals was the kind of innings he is known for. Dhoni just did the Dhoni thing and finished off that big match and he himself considered his knock as the crucial one. Nothing can stop Chennai Super Kings when MS Dhoni is at his best. Dhoni’s trust for any particular player always delivers the result and the players trust in his decision making is what sets this team apart. After retiring from international cricket in 2020, many pointed out that Dhoni wouldn't be the same leader like he used to be, but the captain cool has proved everyone wrong as CSK entered the playoffs for a record 11th time, all under his leadership. Taking into consideration CSK performances this season, they performed more like “COMEBACK SUPER KINGS” and there is a very good chance that MS Dhoni may add a 4th IPL title to his cabinet this season and what a story that would be.