IPL 2018: SWOT analysis of the Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings are the most successful IPL team after Mumbai Indians. Since the commencement of the league in 2008, there has not been even a single year when CSK have not made it to the semi finals.
Chennai have won the championship twice and have been the runners-up four times. It was speculated that after their two-year ban in 2016 and 2017, their popularity may take a dip, but no such thing has happened as the franchise is back to the IPL this year with the same stardom and fanfare that it has always commanded.
Returning from the two year suspension, CSK would be raring to prove themselves again and get back some of their past glory. Let us have a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Chennai Super kings in this year’s IPL.
CSK have been successful in retaining their core group in MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. Many others players like Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis have also come back to the franchise. Thus, the players already have a sense of bonding among them and understand each other’s game. It has also been noticed over the years that some of them have dished out their best performances for CSK under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
The side also has many crafty spinners like Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma and the experienced Harbhajan Singh. In their home ground at Chepauk where the balls grips in the surface, spinners can turn out to be a lethal weapon.
A large number of CSK stars have their glory years behind them. The likes of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh are either already discarded from the international circuit or are on a downward spiral. Hence, it would demand a special effort on the part of these players and some exceptional captaincy from MS Dhoni to bring the best out of them.
The injury to New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner is also a setback for CSK. Santer is a left arm spinner who is not only very economical but also capable of clinching wickets at crunch situations. The Kiwi can also clear the boundary with ease and could have been a handy batsman in the slog overs.
Over the years, CSK has become synonymous with the name of MS Dhoni. The two-year suspension of the franchise also coincided with MSD’s dip in form in the shortest format. Amid ordinary performances in T20Is, the veteran wicket keeper was stripped off from the captaincy of the Rising Pune Supergiant last year. This year’s IPL would be a great opportunity for the legend to make a statement.
IPL 2018 also brings with it a chance for the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina to make the selectors aware that they still have a lot of international cricket left in them. This would keep them in contention for the 2019 World Cup squad.
In this year’s IPL 2018 auction, CSK went for tried and tested players over erratic rookies. In the process, they built a team laden with players who are in excess of 30. While bowling and batting may still be fine, the biggest consequence of their climbing age may get reflected in their fielding. In a league where matches are won and lost by one or two runs, conceding 5 or 10 extra runs can prove to be very costly.
As far as the overseas pace bowling department is concerned, CSK have a fairly inexperienced lot in Junior Dala, Mark Wood and Lungi Ngidi. Each of these players are yet to play their maiden IPL match and the glitz and glamour of the cash-rich league may very well hamper their efficiency.
© Cricket World 2018