These are the reasons why CSK will win the IPL final against SRH!

no photo

How and why Chennai Super Kings will win IPL 2018

no photo

Subhayan Dutta


Chennai Super Kings have been synonymous with the Indian Premier League finalists over the past decade, even in the two seasons that they didn’t play. Returning to the league after a two-year ban, the yellow army has showed yet again why no other side knows the art of success better than them.

CSK’s tendency to come up with heroes whenever needed

In this age and day of cricket, where every move is preceded with analytics, and permutation and combination, Chennai had shocked everyone at the mega-auctions by going for the bygone heroes. At a time when other sides were politely rejecting the uxorious likes of Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, and Chris Gayle, CSK put their bets on the likes of Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, and Harbhajan Singh. But ask Stephen Fleming and he will tell you that he’d rather buy winners than wins.

UEFA Champions League winners for three consecutive seasons - Real Madrid are a similar side. Though they have exciting youngsters like Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vaszquez and Raphael Varane, manager Zinedine Zidane knows that when the big occasion arrives, it is the experienced likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, who would step up and get the job done, no matter how much they are struggling for form all season. Their wins against giants like Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool this season are a perfect testament to it. 

CSK’s aged brigade hasn’t been any different. Defying all the odds of fitness and rigor that T20 matches demand, it has just been the mental battle that they have kept winning. History has been evident that CSK have always stepped up their game when it mattered the most and their narrow win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday reflected exactly that. Turn back time to the start of this season and one would notice CSK’s thrilling performances, where every match had an unlikely hero taking the game to the wire, before eventually winning it. 

Their first match against Mumbai Indians saw crowd favorite Dwayne Bravo scoring a 30-ball 68 to get them to a last-ball win chasing a target of 166, while the second match saw Sam Billings pull off a brilliant 56 runs in 23 balls in his debut to clinch the game against KKR, which went to the 20th over again as CSK were chasing a mammoth total of 203. Then again a few games later against Royal Challengers Bangalore, when CSK had lost Watson, Suresh Raina, and Billings early while chasing a target of 205, the captain stepped up with a scintillating knock of 34-ball-70 to take the side home. In the first Qualifier, with the team reduced to 67/6, Faf du Plessis managed to pull them out in the most unexpected of fashions as the match finished in the 20th over, yet again. While many would call it luck, I call it the winning mentality - the element with which certain teams are made of. 

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni could be the single biggest reason for any side to win any cricket tournament, be it the Chennai Super Kings, India national team or Rising Pune Supergiant. Overseas players have been an integral part of IPL since its inception, but hardly would you hear them speaking about their captain in such an awe as they do about Dhoni. His calm demeanor, ability to read any given situation and lead any side regardless of the players, is unparalleled. To top that, the captain cool seems to have regained his old, mercurial form that had initially brought him to the limelight. Dhoni has garnered more than 450 runs only thrice in IPL- 2008, 2013 and 2018, which is just another reminder of how CSK have been blessed with.

Their return to the league was celebrated like a festival in Chennai with the familiar yellow wave making the headlines yet again. But, as soon as the magic had started the Cauvery controversy led the side to change their fortress from Chepauk to Pune. In such a dire situation, where the whole team needed modifying their skills and the management, their strategies, as the auction buys were done keeping in mind Chepauk’s pitch, they needed their skipper to come to the fore.

Lungi Ngidi breaking out to the fore

CSK had got Ngidi for a meager 50 lakhs at the mega auctions, largely suggesting that the emerging Protean would be reduced to a backup option. The season started with Deepak Chahar coming all guns blazing while Ngidi had to take an instant break following the demise of his father, which further depleted his playing time. He returned late in April and wasn’t handed chances initially even with Chahar injured, as the management focused more on Shardul Thakur and Shane Watson during the period. However, India had seen glimpses of his ability back in the South Africa series and a player of his talent couldn’t just be suppressed for long. Eventually, with CSK more or less cementing a spot in the top four, Fleming decided to try him out against Delhi Daredevils.

The match saw a collective 409 runs scored by the sides together with no regards for the bowlers whatsoever, despite the bowling pitch. But, while the likes of Watson, KM Asif, and Bravo were struggling, Ngidi quietly did his job conceding 26 runs in four overs and bowling 12 dot balls in the match - the most by any from both sides. However, his best was yet to come. Before the league’s last game against Kings XI Punjab, which was sort of a must-win for both the sides for different reasons, Ngidi bowled the spell of his life. Punjab were dismantled in the powerplay overs itself as Ngidi broke sent Gayle and KL Rahul packing, as Ngidi finished the game with figures of 4/10, this time with 16 dot balls. Wankhede didn’t have the same pace, movement, and bounce like Pune but Ngidi conceded just 20 runs in four overs and bowled 10 dot balls. Though Deepak Chahar bettered him with 12 dot balls, he ended up conceding 31 runs and Dhoni must be eyeing a smooth bowling run with his two bowlers at top form.

Suresh Raina’s lifelong romance with IPL final

In terms of the social media trollers, “Suresh Raina and IPL final is still a better love story than Twilight”. CSK have reached the IPL final six times before this season, winning twice, and Raina has played a crucial part on most of them. The southpaw was clearly out of his depth before the IPL begun this season. He had just got a break into the starting eleven in the national team after failing to pass the Yo-Yo Test, but there wasn’t even a shred of doubt in Fleming’s mind about retaining the top-order batsman. 

Raina’s retention had probably cost CSK Ravichandran Ashwin, who captained KXIP this season, but one look at Raina’s runs in IPL finals and any team would want to have him with open hands. Raina’s runs in the most important games of the decade long tournament read 43 vs RR (2008 final), 57 vs MI (2009 final), 8 vs RCB (2011 final), 73 vs KKR (2012 final), 0 vs MI (2013 final) and 28 vs MI (2015 final). With good performances from Ngidi and Chahar almost guaranteed for Dhoni ahead of the final, Raina’s record come a huge boon for CSK ahead of the final.

Cricket FootBall Kabaddi

Basketball Hockey