IPL 2021: The Daddy’s army once again proved that this format is not only for the young generation as CSK went on to lay their hands on the IPL trophy for the 4th time in the league’s history.
One of the great signs of a champion team is being prepared for any situation. KKR had a huge advantage by winning the toss but CSK nullified that with a terrific batting display that was just too much for Morgan’s men on the big night.
Here are the seven reasons why Chennai Super Kings had a successful IPL 2021:
1. Best opening pair of this IPL 2021
“Well begun is half the job done”, this cliché holds good across all the formats and more so in T20s. This is where CSK was blessed to have Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis at the top. When the top two run-scorers of a tournament play for the same team, more often than not they end up as champions.
Both complimented really well right through the IPL 2021. The big advantage for them was how Rutu played the spinners well and Faf would take down the seamers in the powerplay. Hence it was a quandary for most opposition captains in terms of containing the flow of runs.
2. Contributions from various players
Another great sign of a team is how various players put their hands up during crunch situations. Even though the opening pair scored the bulk of the runs, there were critical contributions from others during the course of the tournament.
Robin Uthappa, who sat out for the majority of the league, came and played a match-winning knock against DC in the first qualifier. Moeen Ali contributed with the bat in the first half while Ravindra Jadeja played a match-winning knock.
MS Dhoni, who was quiet by his lofty standards, finished it off in qualifier 1 as he has done on so many occasions.
3. Strong middle order
It’s all about momentum while batting in a T20. Even though the openers give a good start, the middle order needs to keep up with the same momentum in order to finish well. The outcome of most matches is decided by how teams bat during the middle overs.
CSK was clearly the best in terms of middle-order coming to the party. This was all achieved without much contribution from the two pillars around which the team is built, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
The usually strong Mumbai Indians too struggled in the middle overs and that was mainly due to loss of form to Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Hardik Pandya.
4. Keeping things simple
CSK is probably the only team that likes to keep things very simple. They don’t make wholesale changes either to the squad or the playing 11. Even after a disastrous 2020 campaign, there weren’t too many changes to the squad.
They were ridiculed for the pick of Moeen Ali and Robin Uthappa after the auctions. But CSK always picks the players for their respective roles and stick with them right through. That in turn is helping the players to perform to their potential.
5. Experience matters
This was clearly visible in the first qualifier between CSK and DC. The young captain in blue was clearly feeling the nerves on the field while defending a very good score.
In hindsight, one felt that Rishab Pant made a mistake by not giving the ball to Kagiso Rabada for the final over when he had 13 runs to defend. Even though Tom Curran was a better bowler on the day, Rabada has done that job earlier.
Pant chose the current form rather than experience and it proved costly in the end. It eventually cost them a place in the final too as they got stuck against KKR on a pitch that suited the latter much more than DC.
6. All-rounders galore
MS Dhoni often likes to have a lot of players who are good at both aspects of the game. He loves to have a lot of bowling options because he is someone who doesn’t go into the field with a set plan.
That’s the reason why CSK always tries and pick players who can bat and bowl. They had Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, and even a Shardul Thakur who can hit the long ball.
Add MS Dhoni as a wicketkeeper-batsman, you are talking of 4 all-rounders in the team and that makes a side very dangerous.
7. Mahi the leader
Last but not the least, MS Dhoni’s leadership is the most important aspect of CSK being a very consistent side in IPL history. This article won’t be complete without mentioning his leadership skills.
Cricket is played on the field and not on paper. This quote is true when you look at CSK and especially their bowling lineup.
There are no mystery spinners, no out-and-out fast bowlers, or someone who is renowned for death bowling. But despite all that, their bowling does the job on most occasions.
MS Dhoni is a master of using the available resources to an optimum level. He has used his magic wand once again to help the yellow army lift another IPL title.