Mumbai Indians may have overtaken Chennai Super Kings by winning 4 IPL titles, but if you ever have to pick the most consistent side in the IPL throughout the years, it has to be the Yellow Army. Out of the 10 seasons in which CSK have been involved in, they have reached the playoffs every single time!
They have also reached the final on eight occasions which is another record, winning 3 of them. CSK also have the highest win percentage of all the IPL teams. They have also won the CLT20 in 2010 and 2014, which is the joint highest number of CLT20 wins along with Mumbai Indians.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is the only team to have had only one captain. MS Dhoni has led the team very well and a lot of their success is down to him. He has not only been a very influential captain but has also been one of the best batsmen in the tournament’s history. Speaking of batsmen and one-club men, Suresh Raina has also been excellent while playing for CSK and his record speaks for himself.
If there is one thing similar between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, it is the culture instilled in both the sides and a lot of this is down to Stephen Fleming. The former Kiwi skipper has built a formidable partnership with MS Dhoni at CSK. Fleming, who played for CSK in 2008, has played the role of head coach since 2009 and the chemistry built among the players is hugely down to him.
The brand value of CSK in 2019 is estimated to be around INR 732 crore, making them the second-most valuable IPL franchise, after Mumbai Indians. The team has primarily played it’s home matches at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. They were banned in 2015 because the team’s owners were involved in the 2013 IPL betting fiasco, but they made a great comeback in 2018 by winning the title. It is obvious that such a great side would be filled with star-studded names.
Here is our take on their all-time XI:
1. Murali Vijay
IPL has been a great platform for lesser-known Indian players to showcase their talent on a big stage. Although Vijay made his test debut for India in 2008, his clout increased after some solid performances for Chennai Super Kings. He scored over 450 runs in 2010, following which he earned his place in both the T20 as well as the ODI setup for India. Out of his 458 runs that season, 127 were scored against Rajasthan Royals which is the highest score in his IPL career. His strike rate of 156.84 is another indication of how good he was that year, as CSK won their first-ever title.
He followed up that breakthrough season, by scoring 434, 336 and 312 runs in the next 3 seasons. His strike rate wasn’t quite as much as it was in 2010, but Vijay was consistently scoring runs at the top of the order. The brightest moment in his IPL career was in the final of the 2011 campaign. Vijay smashed 95 runs in just 52 balls at a quickfire strike rate of 182.69 which helped his team post a target of 205 runs which was just too much for RCB to chase down.
Chennai Super Kings decided not to retain Vijay for the 2014 season. Following an average campaign for Delhi Daredevils, he joined Kings XI Punjab. He scored 453 runs in the 2017 season for the Mohali-based outfit. After CSK’s ban ended, they decided to recruit Vijay in 2018 but he hasn’t been able to recreate his form from his early days with the side. All in all, Vijay has scored 2587 runs in 103 matches in his IPL career.
2. Michael Hussey
Opening with Vijay in this side is none other than Mr Cricket himself, Michael Hussey. Michael Hussey was a part of Chennai Super Kings’ original side in 2008. Hussey played only 4 matches in 2008, but he scored a brilliant century. He did not feature a lot during his first few years in the team. In 2011, Hussey finally came to the fore by scoring 492 runs as CSK became the only team to win consecutive IPL trophies.
In the next season, Hussey scored 261 runs in just 8 outings. The best was yet to come for “Huss” and he finally broke the shackles in 2014 when he scored 733 runs which included 6 half-centuries. His highest score that season was 95 and with an average of 52.35, he was the most consistent player that year. He was awarded the orange cap that year but he couldn’t help CSK win a third title back to back as they lost in the final to arch-rivals Mumbai Indians.
As fate would have it, Mike Hussey would go on to join Mumbai Indians prior to the 2014 edition and following a string of sub-par displays, he was released by them. In his final year in the IPL, Hussey re-joined his former team CSK. Just like his international career, Hussey was a late bloomer in IPL as well because his most prolific season was towards the end of his IPL journey in 2014. Hussey scored a total of almost 2000 runs in 59 games in the IPL.
3. Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is arguably the most consistent batsman in the history of the IPL. He is the only batsman to have scored 350+ runs in each and every season of the tournament. Raina was also the first batsman to cross the 5000 run mark in IPL and is currently the second-highest run-scorer in IPL history, only behind Kohli. He has almost been a one-club man, having played for and captained Gujarat Lions during the 2-year ban on Chennai Super Kings.
As mentioned earlier, Raina has scored more than 350 runs in each of the 12 IPL campaigns. He has crossed the 500 run milestone in 3 of the 12 seasons, namely in 2010, 2013 and 2014. He has scored a total of 38 half-centuries and 1 century which came in the 2013 campaign which was the left hander’s best outing with the willow. A solid hitter of the ball, he possesses the rare ability to perform well under pressure. Although Raina bats in the top order, he has been one of the best finishers in IPL history. He was the man of the match in the 2010 IPL final.
Raina is also a handy bowler, especially during the first few seasons of the IPL when Dhoni often used the off-spinner to provide a breakthrough. The Uttar Pradesh skipper is also a terrific fielder and he holds the record for claiming the most number of catches in IPL history. When CSK were temporarily banned for a couple of seasons, Raina was bought by Gujarat Lions and he scored 400+ in both those seasons for them.
4. Faf du Plessis
Francois du Plessis was initially signed by CSK in 2011. He had to watch his team win the IPL title from the bench as he made his IPL debut in 2012. Du Plessis is a classy and composed batsman who plays according to the situation. He is capable of playing the role of an anchor as well as the role of an aggressor. He is a livewire in the field, making him a perfect T20 package for any captain.
The Proteas captain enjoyed a fine season with the Chennai Super Kings scoring 398 runs in IPL 2012. In the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, Faf scored 303 and 380 runs respectively. He was a batsman CSK could depend on at the top of the order. Du Plessis had never got out for a duck in his career until the match against KXIP in IPL 2014 where he was dismissed for a golden duck.
Du Plessis joined Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 but he wasn’t given too many opportunities. He scored 396 runs in 2019 for CSK, almost matching his aggregate from his debut season. Du Plessis has scored 1852 runs in 71 matches with an average of 31.40. Apart from his batting, he is also a leader on the field and his experience often comes in handy to young overseas players such as Lungi Ngidi.
5. MS Dhoni
The first name on this team sheet has to be captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Just like Raina, Dhoni has also spent most of his career at CSK. He was the first player ever to be bought by CSK in 2008 and followed the trend by being the first player to be drafted at Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. He was also the first player retained by Chennai Super Kings in their comeback season and if this doesn’t prove how valuable he is, nothing will.
Dhoni is arguably the best captain in IPL history as he has led CSK to 3 IPL titles and 2 CLT20s. Dhoni is also among the top 10 run-scorers in IPL with 4432 runs. Thanks to the fact that he often remains not out, he has a solid average of 42.20. At such a high-level consistency is key and Dhoni has never failed to score more than 250 runs in all 12 IPL seasons. His average of 83.20 in last year’s IPL is almost unbelievable but it is hugely down to his knack of batting till the end.
Dhoni also possesses one of the safest pair of hands with 98 catches and 38 stumpings to his name. The calmness and composure of MS Dhoni coupled with a sharp cricketing brain account for a deadly combination on the cricketing field and the glistening silverware in the trophy cabinets at CSK are a testimony to his extraordinary leadership skills.
6. Albie Morkel
Johannes Albertus Morkel, commonly known as Albie Morkel hasn’t played for CSK since 2013 but the impact he had in his 6 seasons with the side was immense. Prolific with both the bat and the ball, Morkel was one of the best all-rounders in the first few seasons in the IPL. Albie Morkel was mainly renowned for his bowling ability. He picked up 76 wickets in 78 matches for CSK. He also contributed 727 runs during his stint with CSK with a high strike rate close to 150.
Morkel struck a record third-wicket partnership in the 2010 season along with Murali Vijay against the Rajasthan Royals. In 2012, he was the winner of the Super Sixes tournament, with a distance of 105m. During the 2012 edition, CSK faced a mammoth task of chasing 206 against RCB but Albie Morkel smashed Virat Kohli for 28 runs in a single over which gave them the victory from a very tough position in the game.
He was released by CSK after the 2013 campaign. He went on to play a season each with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants. In 2015, he smashed 73 runs off 55 balls against his former team CSK which included eight fours and one six. His explosiveness with the bat and a knack of picking up wickets during the death overs made him a household name among the CSK faithful.
7. Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo is one of the stalwarts of the T20 format. The Trinidadian started his IPL journey with Mumbai Indians but joined the Yellow Army in 2011. Bravo’s flair and personality are second to none. He is a street smart cricketer who is not only good with the bat and ball but is also a brilliant fielder. His ability to stop the flow of runs and pick up crucial wickets towards the end of the innings has earned him 2 purple caps.
He has picked up a total of 147 wickets in 134 matches which is the 3rd highest among overseas bowlers. Moreover, the all-rounder has scored almost 1500 runs. The West Indian international picked up 32 and 26 wickets in the 2 seasons in which he won the purple cap. CSK won the IPL in his first season with the team (2011) and have gone on to be extremely successful whenever Bravo has played well. His 32 wickets in 2013 is also the highest number of wickets taken by a bowler in any season.
DJ Bravo’s most fruitful season with the bat came in 2012 as he scored 371 runs. His quick-fire cameos at the back end of the innings meant that Chennai would win the IPL for the 2nd time in 2 years. After a couple of seasons with the Gujarat Lions, he was drafted by CSK using the RTM card. His performances in the last 2 seasons haven’t been brilliant but his contributions throughout his stay at CSK is enough to give him legendary status in the team.
8. Ravindra Jadeja
Jadeja is one of the best Indian all-rounders in IPL. If there was ever a 3-dimensional cricketer, it would be Ravindra Jadeja as he can bat, bowl as well as field very well. His performance in IPL 2008 helped Rajasthan Royals to win the inaugural IPL trophy and earned him the nickname “Rockstar” by his captain Shane Warne. Following a few good seasons with the Royals, mainly with the bat, Chennai Super Kings decided to buy him for INR 9.8 crore which made him the most expensive player in that year’s auction.
He has been much more impressive with his left-arm spin bowling since joining Chennai. Jaddu has constantly been among the wickets and has crossed the 10 wicket mark in each season while donning the yellow jersey. He also contributed with the bat whenever the team has called upon him to do so. His best seasons with the bat came for Rajasthan Royals in 2009 and 2011. Surprisingly, he has never scored a 50 in IPL.
All in all, Jadeja has scored 1927 runs and picked up 108 wickets in his IPL career. Jadeja was the third player to be retained by CSK in the 2018 mega auction, which shows how important he is for the team. Ravindra Jadeja has been MS Dhoni’s go-to-man when the team needed a wicket. His presence gives Dhoni the extra leeway of playing an additional batsman if needed.
9. Ravichandran Ashwin
Chennai Super Kings have been known for banking on their spinners and here is another spinner in this team. Having begun his career as an opening batsman at youth level, Ashwin dropped down the order and turned into an off-spinner. Ashwin started his IPL career with Chennai Super Kings in 2009 and following a string of good performances, earned his place in the Indian team.
He picked up 13 and 20 wickets respectively in 2010 and 2011 as Chennai Super Kings went on to win two consecutive IPL titles. Since then, the off-spinner has picked up more than 10 wickets in each and every year in the IPL. Ashwin is one of the smartest cricketers and he has often exploited his opponent’s weakness to get them dismissed. He is one of the few bowlers in recent years to be able to bowl the carrom ball consistently.
Ashwin has taken 125 wickets in 139 matches. His batting hasn’t been spectacular in the shortest format of the game. Following CSK’s ban, Ashwin joined Rising Pune Supergiant for whom he claimed his career’s 100th scalp. In 2018, he joined KXIP as their captain. In 2019, Ashwin was highly criticised for mankading Jos Buttler. He will be representing Delhi Capitals in this year’s edition.
10. Deepak Chahar
This has to be the most questionable selection in the all-time XI. Deepak Chahar was rejected as a cricketer at the age of 16, but through pure hard work and a will power to succeed, Chahar found himself playing in the IPL in 2016. He was a part of Rising Pune Supergiant in his first two seasons in the IPL but he didn’t do anything notable. Chennai Super Kings decided to buy him in the 2018 auction.
Chahar proved his worth by picking up 10 wickets in his first season with CSK as they won the IPL for the 3rd time and this was just a sign of what was to come in the future. In 2019, Chahar enjoyed a highly joyous campaign as he picked up 22 wickets. He came 3rd in the race for the purple cap, only behind CSK teammate Imran Tahir and his South African compatriot Kagiso Rabada. This meant that Chahar was the highest wicket-taking Indian bowler which saw him become a mainstay in T20I matches for India.
MS Dhoni proved his immense game sense by utilising Chahar’s skills to its full extent by making the Agra-born medium-pacer bowl primarily in the powerplay of the innings. Chahar’s ability to not on concede fewer runs but also pick up early wickets was invaluable to the team. Due to his performances in the last 2 years, he makes a place for himself in this team.
11. Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma was contracted by Chennai Super Kings in 2013 on the basis of his strong performances in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy where he picked up 37 wickets in 7 games. He made an instant impact and proved out to be a revelation, to say the least. He picked up 20 wickets in his debut season for the Yellow Army. He played 15 matches in the 2014 IPL and took 23 wickets which made him win the purple cap.
He picked up 14 wickets in 2015, after which he was bought by Kings XI Punjab. He took 13 wickets in each of his 2 campaigns at KXIP. Just like a lot of players on this list, Mohit Sharma also made a return to CSK after the fulfilment of their ban. He didn’t have a particularly great second stint at CSK as he only managed to pick up 1 wicket in his sole game in 2019.
Mohit Sharma has bagged 91 wickets in 85 matches in his IPL career, including a 4 wicket haul. Due to the lack of long term Indian fast bowlers in CSK’s ranks, he was a no brainer in this team. Delhi Capitals decided to sign Mohit Sharma ahead of the 2020 campaign. Still only 31, he could make a case for another stint at CSK if he performs well at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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