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Chennai Super Kings: The Inspiring Journey

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is a renowned cricket franchise that has etched its name in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India is a professional cricket franchise. Founded in 2008, the Chennai franchise was sold to India Cements for $91 million for 10 years, making them the fourth most expensive team in the tournament. Former ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan is the de facto owner of Chennai Super Kings.

The CSK has won 5 IPL title, appeared in a record 10 finals and reached the playoffs 12 times out of their 14 seasons, more than any team. Captain by MS Dhoni and currently coached by Steven Fleming. Chennai Super Kings be came India’s first unicorn sport enterprise in January 2022.

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Journey to the IPL title

2008 – 2010

In the 2008 season, The franchise appointed MS.Dhoni as the team’s captain and appointed Kepler Wessels as the head coach. Super Kings face Rajasthan Royals in the IPL final in Mumbai. Batting first, Super Kings scored 163/5 in 20 overs and lost the match by 3 wickets in the last delivery of the match. Fleming, took over as coach of the Chennai Super Kings team from Wessels for the next season held in South Africa.

In the 2009 season, at the semi-finals, their hopes of reaching the final for the second time were dashed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who defeated them by 6 wickets.

In 2010, Chennai Super Kings struggled in the first half of the season. However they’ve taken back their form and win the game by 22 runs and claim their 1st IPL title. The CSK also qualified for the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 held in South Africa.

In the Champions League, the CSK played their first CLT20 final in Johannesburg, where they defeated the Chevrolet Warriors by eight wickets, becoming the first IPL team to win the CLT20.

2011 – 2015

At IPL 2011, Chennai Super Kings faced top-ranked Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifying final which they won by 6 wickets. In the final, they faced the same opponents again, their bowlers then restricted Bangalore to 147 to guide the Super Kings to their second consecutive IPL title. CSK also won all their home matches that season and became the first team in the IPL to achieve this feat. However, in the Champions League, they only won a quarter of their group matches and finished bottom of the group.

In 2012 season, they got off to a slow start in the regular season, then won three of their last four matches and qualified for the Playoffs. At the final, the Super Kings were defeated by 5 wickets by the Kolkata Knight Riders. In the Champions League, they once again failed to progress past the group stage with two wins and two losses.

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In 2013 season, they topped the points table with 11 wins from 16 matches and qualified for the 2013 Playoffs and CLT20. This is the first time in six seasons that Super Kings have topped the IPL rankings. However, Mumbai Indians won the final by 23 runs. Chennai Super Kings secured direct entry to CLT20 2013 to be held in India in September-October, where they suffered a 14-run defeat at the hands of the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur at the semi-finals.

In 2014, the Super Kings’ home matches were moved from Chennai due to a “deadlock between stadium authorities and state regulators”, to the International Stadium JSA in Ranchi. They then be defeated by Kings XI Punjab in the Qualifiers. They were eliminated from the IPL, but due to finishing third, qualified for the main event of the 2014 CLT20. The Chennai Super Kings won by eight wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders and claimed their second CLT20 title.

In 2015, they lost against Mumbai in the final.

2018–present

In 2018, Chennai Super Kings 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.

In 2019, the Super Kings was the first team to qualify for the Playoffs. They entered the IPL final for the 8th time in the rankings. In the final over, the Super Kings lose the title with only 1 wicket against Mumbai Indians.

At the 2020 IPL season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPL was postponed and shifted to the UAE. Chennai Super Kings faced some initial setbacks before the season started after cricketers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar tested positive for coronavirus. CSK’s star batsman and vice-captain Suresh Raina and spinner Harbhajan Singh withdrew from the IPL citing personal reasons. It all went downhill from here.

CSK captain MS Dhoni attracted a lot of criticism from fans and supporters over his form and team selection after he commented on the team’s young players lacking “spark” to gain support from the leadership. Their play-off hopes were dashed after facing a humiliating 10-wicket defeat to Mumbai Indians. Shane Watson has announced his retirement after the end of CSK’s campaign.

In 2021, Following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise in COVID-19-positive cases in many team camps, the IPL was suspended midway and postponed.

When the second leg of the IPL resumed in the UAE, CSK carried a consecutive 4-match winning streak and thus, ensured its berth in the playoffs. CSK was the first team to qualify for playoffs in the 2021 season. In the finals, CSK showcased an all-round performance against KKR to clinch their 4th IPL title.

In 2022, CSK became India’s first unicorn sports enterprise. Following their defeat against the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings were elimated from the race for the playoffs for only the second time in their IPL history.

At the beginning of the 2023 season, The tournament’s all-time purple cap holder Dwayne Bravo retired and re-signed with the team as their bowling coach. Deepak Chahar, Ben Stokes, Kyle Jamieson was out of the tournament with an injury before even the season began.

CSK won the qualifier against the table toppers Gujarat Titans at home, making it into their 10th IPL finals in 14 seasons. In the final which was held in Ahmedabad, Chennai Super Kings beat the defending champions Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets to win their 5th IPL title.

IPL’s most consistent franchise challenges

Chennai Super Kings’s journey to become the most consistent IPL franchise was not without challenges. They must face some of the major hurdles along the way.

The increase of pressure and expectations

With a star-studded line-up that includes cricket legends MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, the CSK has high expectations. Fans, critics and even competitors expect nothing less than excellence from this powerhouse team.

2 years of Suspension

In 2015, Chennai Super Kings faced a major setback when they were suspended for two years due to the spot-fixing scandal involving team official Gurunath Meiyappan. This unexpected turn of events derailed the team’s momentum and reputation.

After the suspension, the Super Kings had to rebuild the squad from scratch. The team management focused on retaining their core players and being strategic in the auction. The addition of experienced players such as Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis has brought much-needed experience and stability to the team.

Home field challenge

CSK also faced the additional obstacle of not being able to play at home in Chennai for two seasons due to the unstable political situation. However, the unwavering support of the fans and the indomitable spirit of the entire team helped them overcome this defeat.

Dhoni’s resilience

The 2018 season saw Dhoni go through his worst phase on a personal level, facing criticism for his performances. But he take back his form very soon and demonstrated his true leadership qualities to help his team win the IPL title was inspired all his teammate and cricket enthusiasts.

Despite the adversities, Chennai Super Kings remained dominant and won the IPL title by 5 times.

Conclusion

The story of Chennai Super Kings is a testament to the power of resilience, determination and team spirit. Over the years, Chennai Super Kings have consistently demonstrated their ability to overcome challenges and rise above adversity. Their unwavering belief in their abilities coupled with the leadership of icons like MS Dhoni took them to new heights.

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