2021 was an unbelievable yr for MS Dhoni-led Chennai Tremendous Kings (CSK) because the Males in Yellow rose from the ashes to bag their fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) crown within the UAE. CSK had completed seventh in IPL 2020 however scripted a fairytale comeback this yr to be standing the place they deservingly belonged on the finish of a powerful marketing campaign.
The yr passed by was full of enthralling sporting motion throughout the globe. IPL – the largest T20 league on the earth additionally lived as much as the expectations because it was one other season filled with high-intensity motion and drama. CSK, who had been written off by many at the beginning of the season after a disappointing seventh-place end within the earlier season, as soon as once more proved why they’re probably the most profitable franchises within the historical past of the competitors.
It was nothing lower than a unprecedented comeback from CSK, who’ve been infamously mocked because the ‘Dad’s military’ because of the presence of numerous gamers of their squad who have been on the unsuitable aspect of their 30s. Nonetheless, CSK as soon as once more defied all the chances to say their fourth IPL title and shut their critics in fashion.
Here’s a look again at Chennai Tremendous Kings’s fairytale comeback in IPL 2021:
IPL 2020 – MS Dhoni’s Dad’s military down and out
Nothing appeared to be going proper for CSK in IPL 2020 because it proved to be a disastrous season for MS Dhoni and his males. Having reached back-to-back finals in IPL 2018 and 2019, expectations have been excessive however the fatigue lastly appeared to have caught up with the dad’s military, who didn’t qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2020.
CSK’s batting line-up crumbled underneath strain on a number of events because the likes of Kedar Jadhav, skipper Dhoni and others struggled to ship. The absence of Suresh Raina within the middle-order was additionally felt as CSK’s scoring charge dropped massively. The workforce managed solely six wins in 14 video games and completed seventh on the factors desk.
It was the primary time in CSK’s historical past that Dhoni’s males had didn’t make it to the highest 4. Main modifications have been anticipated as all eyes have been on CSK within the upcoming public sale following the conclusion of the season. Many believed CSK wanted a whole revamp of their ageing squad however Dhoni was prepared with one other shock from his bag of methods.
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The all-important public sale
When many have been anticipating a significant overhaul and numerous gamers to be launched by CSK forward of the participant public sale, Dhoni & Co. surprisingly let go of solely six gamers, together with Shane Watson, who himself introduced his retirement from all types of cricket.
CSK then made their first transfer by roping in skilled Indian batter Robin Uthappa on a commerce deal from Rajasthan Royals. Regardless of Uthappa’s performances being common within the earlier season, Dhoni and the CSK administration showcased their religion within the veteran batter.
CSK then went on to purchase solely three gamers to interchange the six launched gamers within the public sale. Dhoni, whose love for all-rounders has been well-documented, obtained CSK to pay money for two high quality all-rounders for the squad. CSK roped in Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham whereas additionally roping in Cheteshwar Pujara as a backup batter.
CSK’s critics weren’t satisfied but and have been anticipating extra from the franchise on the public sale. Nonetheless, they might later be proved unsuitable by none apart from Dhoni, who did not even want all three gamers purchased within the public sale to be an everyday in his taking part in XI and was content material with solely Moeen Ali taking part in an necessary function for the workforce within the subsequent season.
CSK get off to a flyer in IPL 2021:
CSK misplaced their opening encounter in opposition to final season’s finalists Delhi Capitals by seven wickets which left many satisfied it was going to be one more shambolic season for Dhoni & Co. Nonetheless, CSK went on an unbeaten streak of 5 matches subsequent and virtually made it six wins in six video games in opposition to arch-rivals Mumbai Indians earlier than happening preventing.
Whereas the opening duo of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad was going all weapons blazing, Moeen Ali’s inclusion within the taking part in XI offered CSK the much-needed stability. Raina’s return meant, they now had a extra reliable middle-order with the likes of Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo getting the license to tackle bowlers.
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The primary workforce to qualify for the playoffs
IPL 2021 needed to be suspended halfway by way of the season attributable to a COVID-19 outbreak within the camps of a number of groups. It was later introduced that the second leg of the match will likely be staged within the UAE. As soon as once more questions have been requested about CSK’s possibilities of persevering with their magnificent run within the UAE after what had unfolded in IPL 2020.
Nonetheless, Dhoni’s males as soon as once more proved their critics unsuitable to hold on from the place they’d left within the first leg. CSK went on to develop into the primary workforce to qualify for the playoffs and defeated the Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 to develop into the primary finalists of the season.
Fourth IPL crown
Gaikwad and Du Plessis continued their purple patch within the remaining and delivered one other sensible match-winning stand in opposition to Kolkata Knight Riders within the summit conflict. The duo added 61 runs for the primary wicket after CSK have been requested to bowl first by KKR skipper Eoin Morgan.
After Gaikwad’s dismissal on 32 off 27 balls, Du Plessis continued his heroic run and slammed 86 off simply 59 balls laced with seven fours and three sixes. Robin Uthappa (31) and Moeen Ali (37) additionally made essential contributions to energy the Yellow Military to an enormous complete of 192 runs.
KKR appeared answerable for the sport for the primary ten overs of their run-chase. They have been clear favourites at one stage after openers Venkatesh Iyer (50) and Shubman Gill (50) placed on 91 runs for the primary wicket. Nonetheless, CSK bowlers made a exceptional comeback within the contest and ripped by way of KKR’s batting line-up to limit them to only 165/9 in 20 overs.
Shardul Thakur returned with three wickets and was the decide of the bowlers regardless of going for runs, whereas Josh Hazlewood and Ravindra Jadeja picked up two wickets apiece. CSK gained the ultimate convincingly by 27 runs to carry the IPL 2021 trophy.
CSK have performed a exceptional 9 finals – most by any workforce, in a complete of twelve seasons in IPL historical past and have gained 4 titles. Dhoni & Co. are the true comeback kings of the competitors and will by no means be written off.