Chennai Super Kings are back in the IPL
Chennai Super Kings are back in the IPL! The RM Lodha committee had suspended India Cements, owners of Chennai Super Kings, for a period of two years in 2016 following their involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. Along with the owners, the franchise was also suspended. Now having served the 2-year suspension, CSK is back and back with a bang. The 2-time champions and perennial title favorites would be looking to make up for lost time!
Suresh Raina is the most prolific run-scorer in IPL history with 4,540 runs. As a testament to his fitness and form, he has not missed a single match for CSK across 8 seasons either due to form or injury. The Chennai franchise would be hoping that the UP batsman finds his groove again. He would be crucial for the team at the ever-important No.3 slot in the squad.
2018: Comeback and Success
Ahead of the player's mega-auction, Chennai Super Kings retained Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina & Ravindra Jadeja. Additionally, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo were brought back into the side using RTM. The return of the Super Kings to the IPL was the cause of a large amount of celebration and fanfare amongst the fans, with a crowd of more than 10,000 turning up for the practice sessions held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai before the start of the tournament.
Chennai's campaign started off with a thrilling one-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians in the first match of the season. Playing their first home game in Chennai, the Kings successfully managed to chase down a target of 202 set by the Kolkata Knight Riders, aided by a quickfire half-century by Sam Billings. The team then went on to lose to Kings XI Punjab in Mohali but bounced back by winning three matches in a row against the Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Super Kings' next eight matches resulted in them alternating between victories and defeats by winning against the Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab and losing against the Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders. The league stage ended with the Super Kings in second place behind the Sunrisers. Chennai then went on to post back-to-back victories against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier and in the final to win the Indian Premier League for the third time since the inception of the tournament.
Three of the five centuries scored in the 2018 season were by players belonging to the Chennai Super Kings (Ambati Rayudu 100* and Shane Watson 106, 117*). The Super Kings also became the first team to defeat an opposing team (Sunrisers Hyderabad) four times in a single season.
2010: IPL and CLT20 double
In 2010, the Super Kings struggled in the first half of the regular season, winning only two matches out of seven. They won four of their next five games in the season mainly due to the efforts of Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina. After a defeat at home to the Delhi Daredevils, the Super Kings were left with a must-win match against Kings XI Punjab at Dharamshala. The Super Kings won the match by six wickets as they chased down the target of 193 with two balls to spare with skipper Dhoni scoring an unbeaten 54 from 29 balls. Thus, with seven wins from 14 matches, Chennai finished with the same number of points as three other teams with two semi-final spots at stake. Chennai got the third place as they had the better net run rate of the four teams which finished on 14 points. In the semifinal, the Super Kings scored a modest 142/7 in 20 overs against the defending champions Deccan Chargers. But an inspired bowling spell from Doug Bollinger (4/13 in four overs) did the most damage as the Chargers were bowled out for 104. This gave the Super Kings a 38-run victory that took them to the final. The Super Kings faced the tournament favorites Mumbai Indians at their home ground in the final. Suresh Raina's 57 (35) helped the Super Kings recover from 68/3 after 12 overs to put up 168/5 at the end of their 20 overs. Then, their spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Muralitharan conceded only 41 runs in the 8 overs bowled between them to help the Super Kings won the game by 22 runs and secure they're first ever IPL title. With this, the Super Kings also qualified for the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 that was held in South Africa.
At the Champions League, the Super Kings were placed in Group A along with champions of Twenty20 competitions from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The Super Kings topped the Group table with three wins and a Super Over defeat to the Victorian Bushrangers. In the semi-final at Durban, the Super Kings comprehensively defeated IPL rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore by 52 runs. Raina won the Man of the match for his unbeaten 94 off 48 balls. The Super Kings played their first CLT20 final at Johannesburg where they beat the Chevrolet Warriors by 8 wickets, becoming the first IPL team to win the CLT20. Murali Vijay won not only the Man of the Match in the final for his 58 but also the Golden Bat for scoring the most runs in the tournament and Ashwin, who was the leading wicket-taker, was adjudged the Player of the Series. At the end of the season, Matthew Hayden decided to retire from the IPL.