Explained: how things fell for Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty, edited by Explained Desk | Kolkata |

Updated: April 22, 2021 11:48:48 AM

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are off again and working. After four matches, they are at the top of the league with six points and a net running rate of +1,142. Last season was an aberration, when the three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions failed to reach the playoffs. An impact that marked this term, stability and wise leadership determined the change.

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Who is signing the impact?

Moeen Ali. Ahead of the 2021 IPL auction, a CSK official told this newspaper that they would go for a high-speed bowling all-rounder. Glenn Maxwell was their first choice, followed by Moeen.

At the auction, CSK went the extra mile for Maxwell, but eventually came out when his value grew beyond their budget. Royal Challengers Bangalore finally got the Australian all-rounder for Rs 14.25, while CSK turned their attention to Moeen. At $ 7 million, they actually got a better cricketer with a proven international pedigree in all formats. The English Allrounder has over 5,000 races and 292 packages in international cricket.

Beaten in 3rd place for CSK, Moeen has scored 133 runs so far in four games at a strike rate north of 152. He offered the early start, which the team missed last year. He also took four counters at an economic rate of less than 6.5 fish races.

Moeen Ali of Chennai Super Kings plays a shot against Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede Mumbai Stadium on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Photo PTI / Sportzpics for IPL)

“He adds an overall look to our game, which we missed last year,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said after the match with Rajasthan Royals.

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How did stability help?

Prior to the start of the IPL, CSK Executive Director Kasi Viswanathan said Indian Express that the MS Dhoni team’s discussion at the pre-season camp was simple: “We trust our process and we have to follow our process. And if we do the right process, the results will come. ”

The entire CSK leadership was clearly on the alert for a bad season. Suresh Raina’s sudden departure before last year’s IPL hurt the party, but no one in the CSK structure was upset. “CSK is like a family,” Viswanathan said. They welcomed back their most successful batsman. They also did not opt ​​for a radical overhaul of the team. Their bidding strategy was clear; strong all-rounders with spin-bowling. In addition to Moeen, CSK also won in K Gowtham for 9.25 million rupees. However, Gowtham made a disastrous appearance. Obviously, Dhoni has a clear plan for when and how to use it.

Young people like Ruturaj Gaikwad have benefited from stability. After three successive failures, he could have been pressured. Not in Dhoni’s team. The skipper kept his confidence in the young opener and the latter justified it with a 42 thousand ball against Kolkata Knight Riders.

How Chahar became an important gear

Deepak Chahar hired Covid before last year’s IPL and, although he recovered to play in the tournament, the average pace was not exactly in his element. Chahar has a specific role in the team, he plays in Powerplays. And when he does bowling well, it works to his advantage. Chahar has already taken eight packages, including one for four.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of Chennai Super Kings, plays a shot during a match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede Mumbai Stadium on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Photo PTI / Sportzpics for IPL)

How has Dhoni’s leadership influenced the change?

Dhoni’s leadership allows his colleagues to play freely without looking over their shoulder. Virat Kohli still talks about how Mahi Bhai supported him and allowed him to grow as a cricketer during the bedding phase of his career. On the ground, the CSK commander remains one of the wisest minds.

Ravindra Jadeja’s handling of the Royals was a case in point. The left-arm player was dominated by Jos Buttler and gave up 22 runs in his first two overs. Then the dew-soaked ball was changed and Dhoni’s message to Jadeja was, “Sukha ball hai, ghumega (it’s a dry ball, it’ll come back).” The bowler was advised to give the ball a break, which he did and fired Buttler and Shivam Dube in the same spot.

Dhoni also introduced Moeen only in the 13th with a dry ball. The off-spinner took three counters in his first two overs.

At 39, Dhoni passed his batsman age. But he can play sharp cameos, as he did against KKR – 17 rounds of eight balls. A catch of 30 meters to give up the Nitish Rana attested the maximum capacity.

Do Indian lands work to the advantage of CSK?

This has long been the team’s template, Dhoni’s spin-choke. Last year, on fresh land in the UAE, the method could not be applied. Although the matches are played in neutral places during this period, the Indian courts that meet between the centers of the matches, play slowly and help the turn at this time of year. “The ball will start on Indian soil. With a single location that hosts so many matches, the pitches will become spin-friendly, ”Viswanathan predicted.

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