Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been the second-most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the defending champions Mumbai Indians. Winning three titles in ten years speaks volumes of the dominance of the team in this tournament.
CSK has managed to reach the playoffs in each edition of the league and played eight IPL finals out of ten. The Yellow Army are also the only team to successfully defend their IPL title with their successive victories in 2010 and 2011. Dominance and success are synonyms that can describe this franchise in the IPL.
The team has produced a lot of young stars who made it big in the national team. The likes of Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Suresh Raina were immensely benefitted due to their presence and performances in the yellow outfit.
The 12th edition of the tournament could well be the last time CSK and IPL witness ‘Thala’ Dhoni, the adopted son of Chennai and Tamil Nadu leading the yellow army. A team fondly called as ‘Daddy’s Army’ for having a squad where the average age is 32 years. That although hasn’t stopped them from performing like they can. They went on to win the IPL in 2018 and came tantalisingly close to repeating that but were stopped by Lasith Malinga– something that would still be fresh in every CSKian’s mind and hearts.
In the last ten years, despite being banned for two years, CSK was one of the most widely followed IPL franchises. There have been a number of players who performed consistently for Chennai throughout the past ten years.
Let’s take a look at CSK’s team of the decade in the IPL: –
The Australian middle-order batsman, Mike Hussey or ‘Mr Cricket’ was a regular for CSK at the top of the order during the early half of this decade. Hussey was a consistent performer for the Chennai-based franchise and was even a part of the two title-winning teams in 2010 and 2011.
His opening partnership in 2011, alongside Murali Vijay, was an instant hit as the duo helped CSK defend the title. The Australian scored a whopping 2213 runs at an average close to 41 for CSK. ‘Mr.Cricket’ has the best score of 116* and was even the Orange Cap holder in the sixth edition of the IPL, where he amassed a total of 733 runs.
Since 2010, Hussey scored 1600 runs in 46 appearances for the franchise with a personal best of 95. In his debut game in the IPL, the left-handed batsman became only the second player to score a century in the league against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2008.
Murali Vijay was one of the local boys who was picked by CSK during the initial editions of the league. However, Vijay failed to make an impact in his first year at the IPL in 2009.
But it was from 2010 onwards that he hit a golden patch in the IPL, making the opening slot his own to become CSK’s backbone for the next few years. He was a bank at the top for CSK between the period 2010-2013 before he was finally released in the IPL auction.
Since 2010, Vijay has played 63 matches for his home-based franchise, accumulating 1616 runs including 7 fifties and two centuries . His highest score of 127 in IPL 2010, saw him carve out an image of an attacking batsman at the world stage.
Post that he has been part of the Kings XI Punjab side before joining the ‘Daddy’s Army’ few years back in 2018. He hasn’t had much to do in the last few years but with him in CSK’s side for IPL 2020 we can expect him to get more opportunities to shine and showcase his skills.
Suresh Raina (VC)
Suresh Raina or ‘Chinna Thala’, as he is fondly called by the ardent and loyal supporters of Chennai Super Kings, has been one of the most consistent performers in the history of IPL. Raina has played 193 matches and is the most capped player in the history of IPL.
He has scored 5368 runs at an average of 33.34 with a brilliant strike-rate of 137.14. Handy with the ball, Raina even has 25 wickets to his name at a decent economy of 7.38 runs per over. He has been a driving force in CSK’s numerous successful campaigns at the IPL. Known also as Mr. IPL, Raina has played most matches – 193 for Chennai and has scored most runs for the franchise.
Since IPL 2010, the UP-born lad has managed to score more than 300 runs in each season. His consistency and attacking instinct have done wonders for CSK in all these years at the IPL. With 3,672 runs this decade, he owns the No.3 spot in this CSK XI.
Faf du Plessis
Faf Du Plessis, the current Test and ODI skipper of South Africa, walks into the CSK XI at No.4 spot. Du Plessis, who has played most of his matches as an opener for CSK, will take the middle-order spot as an experienced campaigner who can perform at any given spot.
The South African skipper joined CSK in 2012 and was an immediate hit in the IPL. He secured his place for the next three years as an overseas opener before the franchise was banned ahead of 2016. In 63 games for CSK, Faf has scored 1639 runs at an average of 31.52.
Being a skipper himself, he plays an important role in assisting MS Dhoni on the field in crunch and crucial situations. With him being among the most bankable fielders going around in world cricket, his involvement with the team has bolstered the team’s image even more.
MS Dhoni (C and WK)
MS ‘Thala’ Dhoni, the skipper of Chennai Super Kings, will bat at No.5 in the batting order. Known as Captain Cool, Dhoni has led CSK to three IPL titles in the past 10 years. His ability to lead a side in unparalleled. He has been brilliant as a leader who has the knack of extracting the best out of his players.
Dhoni is the second-highest run-scorer for the side despite coming into bat at lower down the order more often than not. He has scored a total of 4432 runs at a tremendous average of 42.20. Dhoni’s strike rate touches a massive 137.85 in the tournament. Dhoni has also affected a total of 132 dismissals. His dismissal rate is a staggering 0.688 per innings.
In IPL 2018 Dhoni led the side to an IPL title on return. Being the leader of the team, his batting exploits for CSK have often slipped under the radar. He has played a crucial role in scripting wins from some of the unexpected situations for his side. He has been the chief contributor in finishing off games for his team in all these years at the IPL. In 130 games for CSK this decade, Dhoni has scored 3112 runs at a staggering average of 51.42.
It would be fair to say that IPL would be lesser a tournament without MSD and CSK. It was seen in the two-year-ban that CSK received, when although Dhoni moved on to Rising Pune Supergiant, he was anything but what his fans expected of him. But once he was back for the team in yellow, he won the title in 2018 and took the team to the finals in 2019 only to narrowly miss out.
Albie Morkel, the retired South African player, was a prolific all-rounder for Chennai during his stint in the IPL. He was one of the few overseas players who were constants throughout CSK’s successful years at the beginning of this decade. Morkel was a potent option with the ball and complemented well with his hard-hitting to offer a great package to any side.
His ability to absorb pressure and deliver for the side was commendable. Since 2010, he represented the Yellow Army in 63 matches and scored 489 runs along with 46 wickets to his name in his six years at Chennai. He was Dhoni’s go-to man in demanding circumstances and the all-rounder was capable enough to deliver more often than not.
In his 105 games, the West Indian has scored a total of 1207 runs at a healthy average of 30.45. Bravo has also taken 111 wickets and usually bowled at crucial junctures of a game. He is the second-highest wicket-taker for the Men in Yellow and has won the Purple Cap two times.
To partner Morkel in the all-rounder’s role, DJ ‘Champion’ Bravo is an obvious choice in any CSK team. The most consistent overseas performer for Chennai since 2011, Bravo was at his lethal best during the first half of the 2010s. His T20 prowess as an all-rounder might have taken a considerable dip, but he still happens to be a run-away match-winner on any given day.
The Purple Cap holder for CSK in IPL 2013 and IPL 2015, Bravo has 104 scalps to his name in 89 matches for the franchise. In these matches, the Caribbean all-rounder has scored 927 runs including numerous match-winning performances, both with the bat and ball. His popularity and style of play has made him famous outside the cricketing field too. Bravo has sung in a few Kollywood movies too, enhancing his brand value.
Ravindra ‘Jaddu’ Jadeja made a switch from the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala to CSK in IPL 2012 when he was the most expensive buy of the season. The Saurashtra-lad proved every pennyworth as he made an immediate contribution with both bat and ball. For the next few seasons, Jadeja emerged as CSK’s one of the two frontline spinners alongside R Ashwin.
With his superb efforts in the IPL, he also presented a case for his selection in the Indian team. He continues to be an integral part of the CSK setup. Having played 102 matches for CSK, Jadeja has picked 79 wickets to complement his 865 runs with the bat. CSK are blessed and lucky to have among the finest fielders in world cricket in their squad- Jadeja, Raina and Faf Du Plessis.
Ravindra Jadeja is the 4th leading wicket-taker for CSK, taking 93 wickets at an average of 26.66 and an economy of 7.89, with the best figures of 5 for 16.
Ravichandran Ashwin was another local talent whose burst onto the scene was helped by his performances for CSK in the IPL. Ashwin made his debut for the CSK in IPL 2009 but couldn’t create an impact. However, in 2010, he began to create an image for himself and in IPL 2011, he grabbed eyeballs for his crafty off-spin.
He quickly escalated to higher prominence and continued to perform consistently. Ashwin has played 95 games for CSK in the 2010s and was the highest wicket-taker for them before he shifted his base to Rising Pune SuperGiant in IPL 2016.
He is the leading wicket-taker for CSK till date, bagging 120 wickets at a superb economy of 6.66 and a healthy average of 23.70. Ashwin was a part of the CSK side from 2009 to 2015. He was the captain of the Punjab franchise for two years i.e 2018 and 2019 before being traded to Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020.
The Haryana-born lad Mohit Sharma joined CSK in IPL 2013 and witnessed a successful outing in his maiden appearance in the cash-rich league. He played 13 matches in the edition and played a major hand in taking his side to the finals in 2013. He remained a constant for the next three years at CSK. As his performances improved, he was even considered for national selection.
Sharma was fortunate enough to represent India in the World Cup 2015. For Chennai, he played 48 matches and registered 58 wickets as one of their better seamers during the period between 2013 to 2015. He was part of a set of players who were groomed by MSD and developed into better players.
Deepak Chahar is another young Indian seamer, who has grown leaps and bounds ever since his debut in the IPL. After witnessing two successful years with the ball in 2018 and 2019, Chahar was touted as one of the bowlers for the future. In the last two years for CSK, Chahar has emerged as the highest wicket-taker for the franchise.
His ability to consistently hit the right spot and make the ball talk makes him a potent option even in T20s. In 29 matches for CSK, Deepak has claimed 32 wickets at an economy of 7.40. He is a regular feature in India’s T20I squad in the past 12-15 months and is set to play a crucial role when India take part in the T20 World Cup in Australia alongside Jasprit Bumrah.
Honourable mentions: Matthew Hayden, Doug Bollinger, Ambati Rayudu, Ashish Nehra, Imran Tahir.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Eoin Morgan is for England, what MS Dhoni used to be for India: Graeme Swann
- IPL 2021: Robin Uthappa expresses his desire to open the batting for CSK in the tournament
- IPL 2021: Here is why #DhoniReturns is trending on Twitter ahead of the season
- IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings invite two Sri Lankan bowlers to take part in training ahead of the season
- ‘MS Dhoni is not bigger than the game’ – Twitter reacts after an official expresses disappointment over MS Dhoni not playing in Chennai