Chennai Super Kings reached its 10th Indian Premier League final after beating Gujarat Titans by 15 runs. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad top-scored with 60 from 44 balls as Chennai posted 172-7 after being put in to bat. The Titans faltered in the chase, with Shubman Gill proving to be the lone warrior for the defending champion.
As the Super Kings gear up for the summit clash on May 28, here’s the lowdown on five reasons why CSK has been successful this year.
The opening salvo
Openers Gaikwad and Devon Conway have added 775 runs in 14 innings so far, the second-most by an opening pair this season. They have two hundred and four fifty-run stands. Their PowerPlay surge has set up CSK for powerful finishes.
Tushar Deshpande and Matheesha Pathirana’s evolution as frontline pacers has contributed immensely to the team’s success this year. These two have 38 wickets between them and are currently the No. 1 and No. 2 wicket-takers for CSK, respectively.
Return of Chahar
Deepak Chahar had missed six games this season due to a hamstring injury but made an immediate impact after his comeback. In Qualifier 1, against the Gujarat Titans, Chahar picked up 2 for 29, which included the wickets of the Titans openers, Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill.
Shivam Dube has been CSK’s designated spin-hitter. He has scored at 174.31 against spinners while smacking 20 sixes and three fours.
The M.S.D factor
M.S. Dhoni has had an issue with his knee all through the season, but that has not affected his captaincy or his batting. On the field, he has marshalled his bowlers and made shrewd field placements to stifle opponents, and with the bat, he has scored 104 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 180+, while facing only a limited number of balls at the death.