From the very first IPL the Super Kings have been a dominant force, they were runners up in year 1. Once again CSK stands out above all the other sides. They have not won the IPL every year but have always been close to the final stages. There are a few reasons why this:
1. MS Dhoni – They have the best captain in world cricket. There has not been many captains like Dhoni in the past and probably won’t be an Indian captain as good as him for a long time. He backs his players and knows when to make huge decisions. The best thing about Dhoni is that he usually performs when others fail. What will CSK do when he retires?
2. Balanced Squad – From the beginning CSK seem to have known what works in T20. They have identified player types that they need in the side and kept to it, whilst others keep chopping and changing playing styles. The simple formula they use is to have two aggressive openers, Raina at 3. An out and out batsman then Dhoni followed by 3 allrounders and then a few handy bowlers. They had Hayden, who got replaced by Hussey, who then got replaced by McCullum. Not bad is that. They also retain the most players, they have built up a squad type of atmosphere, where most key players are the same every season.
3. Raina – He has not missed an IPL match yet in all the seasons. He is Dhoni’s right hand man but he is also the best number three batsman that you could have in T20 cricket which is played in India. He destroys most bowling attacks and is the all time leading run scorer in IPL. He is pretty crucial to CSK’s success, although I do not agree with him being the vice captain.
4. Fielding – Raina, Jadeja, McCullum, Bravo, Du Plessis, Smith are the star names in this department. As a group they are definitely the best fielding unit (sorry Mumbai, CSK are better). This saves them in tight matches, the saying is that catches win matches. Well in T20 cricket good fielding wins matches.
All these reasons are why CSK are almost the perfect T20 team. They have the best batting line up, best fielding and a good bowling attack. The reason is say they are nearly perfect is that the bowling can sometimes be found out, especially if Ashwin is injured. Mohait Sharma is good but I sometimes worry for Nehra and Bravo. Jadeja has been a bit off form too. CSK are still winning matches easily so this is not really a big problem currently. It was nice to see two young Indian bowlers given a chance, More and Negi given a chance.
What I suggest CSK may have to do is take out Dwayne Smith from opening and either replace him with a an Indian opener of a similar fashion, this would mean they can next season get in a world class international strike bowler. I suggest the side would be complete if they managed to prize Morne Morkel or Stein to the side. The other option for this season is to push Du Plessis back into opening and play either Irfan Pathan or Rahul Sharma. This would give them that extra bowler for balance. It could be something that makes them PERFECT.