There are teams who fail to book a seat for themselves in the playoffs, and then there are teams like CSK who make it a habit of breaking it into the playoffs again and again. CSK and their consistency over the years in the cash-rich tournament have earned them the title of Kings of IPL. They are the only side to have qualified for the playoffs in every single edition of the game and have enjoyed 2 IPL victories till date that too in succession in 2010 and 2011.
CSK have managed to create another record for themselves by being the only side to have won at least one game against every other franchise this season.
The Chennai based franchise ended their season at 2nd position in the points table with 18 points in 14 games.They will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier-1 at Wankhede Stadium. The winner will be heading straightaway to the finals and will compete against the winner of Qualifier-2.
let’s look at 3 players who can ensure CSK a victory in the playoffs this season
Captain Cool’s resurgence as a destructive player has been a hot topic among the fans this season. He seems to be on a completely different level this season with aggressive hard-hitting knocks thereby aiding the team to the playoffs after an exile of 2 years.
Dhoni’s understanding of the game, ability to rotate the strike and anchor the innings led CSK to retain him for a whopping Rs 15 crores. His man-management tactics and bringing out the best from the players have never gone unnoticed. The strategies that he deploys on the field has what made him the most successful captain in IPL till date.
The 2-time IPL winning captain has shut the critics by smacking 446 runs at a strike rate of 157.04 and has also scored the most number of sixes (30-6s) this season. His knowledge and experience of the T20 format will be truly beneficial for CSK in the playoffs this season.
The former Aussie veteran has been instrumental in getting CSK off to flyer starts this season on many occasions. Watson’s inclusion into the squad in this edition at a price of Rs 4 crores has been worth every penny.
Many might not have expected him to play so well, considering his stint with RCB for 2 seasons didn’t go well. Yet he emerged victorious and successfully shut his critics with some smacking over the park hitting and crucial partnership breaking wickets in the process helping CSK to reach off to playoffs.
He has been a match winner this season for CSK with his all-round abilities. In 13 matches, he scored 438 runs at a strike rate of 161.86 and notched up a destructive 106 of 57 balls against Rajasthan Royals which included 6-6s and 9-4s .
His bowling has played a significant role in choking down the opposition batsmen and has helped CSK drain up the run rate on few occasions. He has been a partnership breaker for CSK with 6 wickets in 13 games at an economy of 7.93. T
Chinna Thala has succeeded yet again by crossing the 350+ runs margin for the 11th consecutive time in IPL history. The left arm batsman’s match-winning abilities have been a constant in all these editions. He has been the backbone of the franchise and has steered the team to victories on many occasions.
Though Raina witnessed a slight dip in his form in the middle stages of the tournament, he successfully bounced back into the game with back to back fifties that elevated CSK to the top 2 position. Raina also known as Mr.IPL, has been the man of big occasions for the franchise by rendering best performances under critical situations.
The last time CSK played a game at Wankhede during the playoffs was back in 2014 against KXIP during qualifier -2 where Raina single-handedly had ripped apart the bowling by scoring 87 of 25 balls. His destructive abilities will be put to test again in the playoffs.