It isn’t a secret that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is synonymous to Chennai Super Kings (CSK), largely because of what the franchise brings to the table. Just a few months ago when CSK returned to their home ground Chepauk Stadium for preparations of the 12th edition, the fans came out in large numbers just to see their favourites practising. Furthermore, the affectionate concordance which the Men in Yellow has got over the years cannot be matched with any other participating team.
Chennai Super Kings has one of the strongest scouting systems in the IPL with a pinch of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s fortitude. Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, are few of many who went onto make a name for themselves at the world stage after proving their worth in cash-rich league.
However, many a time, the auction strategists have made some miscalculations which eventually have resulted in the team’s performances at times. There have been instances when some CSK players have failed to match their known potential and eventually been benched through the course of the tournament.
Here we bring you five worst signings by Chennai Super Kings in IPL history:
Tim Southee made his IPL debut with Chennai Super Kings in 2011 and he failed to impress by a distance. He featured in 5 encounters and scalped mere 4 wickets with a disastrous average of 41.50 and an economy rate of 8.73. His ineffectiveness on Indian tracks made his case look slim and eventually was released in 2012.
Post his release from CSK squad, the speedster was picked at the auctions by Rajasthan Royals in 2014 to bolster their bowling line-up. However, his inclusion didn’t do any good to the franchise as the pacer went wicketless in the season. Surprisingly, he was retained for the following season. Despite a lot of faith shown in him, he still struggled to find his rhythm.
Southee went onto play for Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore but wasn’t able to leave a mark. Despite the horrific performance, he was still retained by the RCB for their 2019 season. It remains to be seen how he performs in the upcoming season if they decide to give me an extended run.
Another Kiwi on the list – Scott Styris was known for his deadly finishes coming down the order and delivering crucial overs. But he just didn’t manage to click with the franchise in his only season in 2011. Most of the ardent followers may have even forgotten his effort as he spent most of the time in CSK’s dugout.
Styris managed to feature in mere 2 games for the franchise and added just 5 runs. To make his case worse, he wasn’t of much use with the bowl either, bowling just one over and conceding 13 runs without taking a wicket.
One could wonder why Scott Styris was even bought at the auctions. Styris clearly didn’t make a good fit in the team and was released from his contract. Post-release, he performed in many behind the scenes roles, but he never took the field to play for an IPL team again.
George Bailey? Chennai Super Kings? – Well, yes. Bailey was once part of this legendary team. In the initial days, CSK retained Bailey for four seasons before calling it a day on his association with the team. From 2009-12, CSK barely used this talent, contemplating on why he was constantly retained by the franchise. During his stint with them, Bailey only played a total of 4 encounters – making one game per season – scoring a meagre 63 runs.
He returned back to IPL in 2014 to captain the Kings XI Punjab successfully leading them to their first IPL finals. He also went onto put up a decent show with the bat, scoring 257 runs from 17 matches with a decent strike-rate of 135.26. Unsurprisingly, KXIP decided to retain Bailey for one more season.
While his performances with the bat remained the same, his leadership skills seemed to diminish over the course of a year. He was released the following year only to be picked up by the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant. However, he didn’t impress the management and was eventually dropped from the team.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Chennai Super Kings thrust Holder into the limelight. He was picked by the franchise in 2013 as a young West Indian bowler who has a tall frame and can generate pace. It looked like Holder has everything you would want in a fast bowler.
However, he failed to live up to the hype picking up just 2 wickets in his 6 games. Post his release from CSK, he went on to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders but wasn’t able to get catch hold of headlines.
His IPL career stats show that he picked up just 5 wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 8.5. Despite his poor performances, West Indies cricket board believed in his abilities and backed him to lead the side across formats till recently before splitting the captaincy.
Former England all-rounder is synonymous to Ashes 2005 and the way he trapped Jacques Kallis in Test series. His all-round inputs for the team have always been vital for English cricket’s success. However, everyone has forgotten that Andrew Flintoff was once part of the CSK team. When he made his debut, all eyes were on him as he was expected to emulate English effort on the Indian soil. The platform was set perfectly for him to come in and wreak havoc, but what ensued next was unimaginable, to say the least.
Flintoff was dispatched to all parts of the ground like an amateur bowler. He was very expensive with the ball and couldn’t contribute much with the bat either. It was clear that he was a shadow of his former self and it wasn’t long before CSK had enough and decided to pull the plug on Flintoff’s chaotic IPL career.
Ever since then, Flintoff failed to get an IPL contract. The all-rounder’s International career was further shortened due to injuries as he was eventually made debut in singing and boxing. Recently, Flintoff was one of the pillars of strength for making the 2019 World Cup a success.
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