CSK’s return to the IPL after a gap of two years was branded as a “season of nostalgia” as to bring their core back, they bought most players of age over 30. Whether it was a coincidence that they went on to win the title can’t be said with any certainty but they disproved the popular myth.
Data Analytics plays a huge role in the squad formation of any league T20 team. Ask Kolkata Knight Riders or Perth Scorchers, and they will tell you, how they used the Moneyball concept to get ahead of many in their respective leagues - Indian Premier League and Big Bash League. Mumbai Indians, with
It is not that they don’t care about the analysis. They, of course, do, but not with the propensity of KKR or an MI depend on it to run their system. When KKR sent Sunil Narine up top to open the innings with Chris Lynn, after doing sufficient analysis during the previous season of the Big Bash League, last year CSK changed their order and sent Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar ahead of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo to give a solid check to Kings XI Punjab in the middle-overs.
The duo of MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming have also had a big role to play. There is no doubt that the pair has a superb T20 game awareness and instead of
In a league match against Kings XI Punjab last year, Dhoni was on 23
Now the question arises that how can you challenge the structure that has already been tried and tested, with a success rate that is rare and ridiculous in franchise cricket? CSK rely on a core group of players around whom others have been allowed to express themselves and make an impact. Dhoni’s decision to promote Rayudu to the top and often bringing Raina to little down from his initial position, allowed him to take over the middle-order role with elan. Age, as they have proven, it is not a barrier if you know how to release the pressure, and most importantly, how to turn it to your own benefit.
The year 2019 is no different. CSK retained almost the entire team and apart from filling a couple of spots with domestic Indian cricketers, rest assured, the team will field the XI almost similar to the last year. It brings the question, can CSK rely on the same proven formula once again and deliver as they had always done?
One of the major problems for the Chennai-based franchise has been their batsmen start slow, which, in the modern-day T20 ecosystem, is a huge anomaly. CSK send Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to open the innings, and it is not even a surprise that both are slow starters. It doesn’t help if you have an out-of-form-but-can-gain-
This seems to be a concern for the franchise once the tournament gets underway. CSK are filled with players who are extremely injury prone and if you take the flailing consistency into account, then it will be difficult for the CSK to use the last year’s formula to be successful. Of course, they will be back at their favourite Chepauk once again, but as was the case last year, they wouldn’t start as the favourites. However, one can’t bet against it because like many things with CSK, they are always capable of pulling off a miracle and discovering a hero in every match.
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