After being suspended from the IPL for the last two years, Chennai Super Kings have roared back in style. This year again they have made their way into the playoffs and have ended up in the second spot in the final points table. They will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier which will be played tomorrow at the Wankhede Stadium from 7 PM. The last night Chennai defeated Kings XI Punjab on their second home ground, MCA Stadium, Pune.
The greatest surprise of this season for Chennai Super Kings was the incredible form that MS Dhoni displayed. In the 14 league matches, MS Dhoni scored 446 runs at an average of 89.20 runs per innings (nine not-outs). His strike rate this season has been 157, far superior to the last four seasons. He smacked 30 sixes this year, which is the highest number of sixes for him in a single season. With him at the end, Chennai never had to worry about any of the chases.
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After the 2018 IPL Auction, the CSK squad was had the highest average age. Many a players were on the wrong side of thirty and team was even mockingly named as the ‘Chennai Senior Kings’. All these things have now fallen apart with the kind of success that Chennai has achieved.
After yesterday’s win in the league match against the Kings XI Punjab, MS Dhoni spoke about the same aspect. He mentioned that the owners of the team have been brilliant. They have backed the players and his team made his task look very easy in the tournament.
“Owners have been brilliant. We have a set of people who are close to the players. They have a history of understanding the game. That makes the job easy for the captain. Also if you don’t have a good team, it becomes difficult. We kept adding players and they kept performing,” MS Dhoni remarked after the win.
Gazing into the future, Dhoni remarked that the real challenge for the Chennai Super Kings will be in the next two years. That will be the time when senior players like him will not fit into the scheme of things for the shortest format of the game. He said, “The big shift will be after two years, where most of these players won’t be there. Maybe they won’t be fit for the shortest format. Looking at ten years, it has been very good for us.”
MS Dhoni is currently 37 years old, with the ODI World Cup 2019 coming up next year, he will be hoping to hang his boots in a spectacular fashion. 2020 then may turn out to be his last year in the IPL. If that happens, Chennai will lose their grandest Super King.