Chennai Super Kings is the second most successful franchise in the history of IPL. Led by the legendary MS Dhoni, CSK has been one of the best teams and is always a favourite before the start of a season. They have won the IPL titles thrice (in 2010, 2011 and 2018) and also have the highest win percentage of 59.83 % among all IPL teams. Just once in 2020 IPL did Chennai fail to reach the playoffs. This year, they are No. 2 in the first phase of the competition and will be looking to continue their exceptional performance in the second phase.
Chennai’s batting order performed as a unit in this year. Gaikwad and du Plessis scored runs consistently at the top allowing the middle order to play their shots. Faf du Plessis was CSK best batsman till the tournament got suspended. The depth of their batting and the presence of all-rounders allowed them to play an attacking brand of cricket and post winning totals on the board.
|Player Name||Matches||Runs||Bat. Avg.||Strike Rate||Highest Score|
|Faf du Plessis||7||320||64||145||95*|
Not only the batsmen, but the bowlers too played a significant role in IPL 2021. They hunted as a pack and were able to restrict the opposition to modest totals. Captain MS Dhoni will hope a similar performance from them in the second phase. Sam Curran was CSK best bowler in IPL 2021 first phase with 9 wickets to his name.
|Player Name||Matches||Wickets||Bowl. Avg.||Econ. Rate||Best Figures|
Chennai Super Kings had a strong and experienced middle order in the 1st Phase and it will play a crucial role in the 2nd phase too. Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu played with freedom and batted with excellent strike rates. A big positive was the performance of Ravindra Jadeja with the bat. The allrounder played excellent finishing knocks reminding everyone the finishing abilities of MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni (C) (wk), Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Robin Uthappa, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, R. Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, KM Asif, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K. Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishanth, Josh Hazlewood and Jason Behrendorff.
Chennai had a superb 1st Phase. Despite losing their first match, they came back strongly after that by winning 5 games on the trot. They have an experienced crop of players capable of winning crucial moments. In the second phase, we might see some changes if some countries don’t allow their players to participate keeping the T20 World Cup in mind. Here’s how CSK best playing 11 2021 could be shaped up for the second phase:
Given MS Dhoni’s age, it is likely that the captain will change in the upcoming years. Faf du Plessis has captained South Africa but the age is not on his side too. Suresh Raina was the team’s vice-captain over the years. But Raina has now retired and is clearly not at his best to be given the responsibility of captaincy. Considering all factors in mind, Ravindra Jadeja is the likeliest candidate to be CSK’s next captain. He is experienced, fit and is in the best form of his career currently. He is ready to lead the team when Dhoni retires from IPL.
Mumbai Indians is currently the richest team in IPL. The team is owned by India’s billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani. Mumbai Indians has a brand value of USD 70 million which is the most for any IPL team. Led by skipper Rohit Sharma, Mumbai has been IPL champions a record 5 times and is also the current defending champion. They won the IPL in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020. In IPL 2021, they were at 4th position in the 1st Phase.
CSK has been superb during the first phase of IPL 2021 and can qualify for the playoffs. But the break between the first and second phase could affect their momentum. Looking at the experience of world-class players in this team, they are likely to find feet early in the second phase. They have their most bases covered. CSK playing 11 2021 is one of the most experienced and will be hard to beat. Currently, they have 5 wins in 7 matches. They need just 3 more wins in their next 7 matches to qualify which doesn’t seem to be a challenging task.
Chennai’s next match is against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Dubai on September 19, 2021. This will be the match which will commence the Phase 2 of IPL 2021. Both Mumbai and Chennai are the most successful teams in the history of the IPL. MI has won 5 titles while CSK is on second position with 3 titles. Both the sides have already faced each other in the first leg in which Mumbai Indians won by 4 wickets. Chasing an imposing total of 219, Mumbai seemed to be under pressure but Kieron Pollard’s blistering knock of 84 from 34 balls got them over the line. CSK will look to turn the tide this time around.