Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
MS Dhoni, right, and Suresh Raina will be going all out to regain the trophy they won in 2011. Saurabh Das / AP Photo
MS Dhoni, right, and Suresh Raina will be going all out to regain the trophy they won in 2011. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

Indian Premier League: The Chennai Super Kings to hold court

Osman Samiuddin explains why the Twenty20 franchise are the IPL's most settled team.

It is difficult to think of a team more indelibly associated with the Indian Premier League than the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Sure, others have more romance about them, and others still far more glamour. But no team encapsulates the ominous, quietly growing domination of the league than the Super Kings.

The team is owned by India Cements and thus, N Srinivasan, the most powerful administrator in world cricket at the moment as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI].

The team is led by MS Dhoni, India's most successful and, on balance, most powerful captain (and vice-president at India Cements, too), as well as the biggest brand icon going.

And they have, in Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin, to name but two, some of the format's best players.

Little wonder that they have been the league's most successful side over five seasons.

Prospects

So honed are CSK at this Twenty20 schtick that even though they had, by their own standards, a relatively poor last season, they still finished as runners-up. But for two Manoj Tiwary boundaries in the very last over of the final, they may have picked up another title.

So they will still be in the running towards the latter stages of this season, as any team with their basic strength should be.

In the run-up this season, they have been busy building up their seam attack; they have inducted Dirk Nannes, Ben Laughlin and Jason Holder and signed on four local, uncapped pacemen (Imtiaz Ahmed, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohit Sharma and Ronit More).

Star foreign signing

Nannes will be a more than useful - and vastly experienced - addition. Chris Morris, a prototype 1990s South African all-rounder, is the small-name, big-money acquisition. But the real star could be Akila Dananjaya, another product of Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinners assembly line.

Dananjaya was whisked into the national squad after impressing Mahela Jayawardene in nets one day, and though he is categorised as an off-break bowler, that is a nominal interpretation. He can bowl a leg-break, carrom ball, doosra as well as the bog-standard off-break; at US$20,000 (Dh73,450), he could be the bargain of the season.

Star Indian player

Take your pick, from captain Dhoni, to much-derided all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, to Ashwin, to Subramaniam Badrinath.

But in a team as strong as this, Raina is the key in the middle order.

He may not be so good in longer formats of the game, or away from the subcontinent, but in India, in the IPL (that is not meant to sound so uncomplimentary), he is a finisher, blaster and pace-setter all at once.

He is also their leading run-scorer in the format.

Previous history

Two-time winners, finalists for the last three seasons in a row, runners-up in the very first season, they have never failed to make at least the semi-finals of the competition.

They have won the IPL off-shoot, the Champions League, as well.

They are easily the most accomplished team of the IPL.

 

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National