Chennai Super Kings – What are they doing right in IPL 2023?

Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the Indian Premier League’s history, qualifying for the playoffs in each of the first eight years of their existence, winning the trophy twice, and finishing as the runner-up four times. However, they were banned in 2016 for two years and made a comeback in 2018. Since their return, CSK have won the IPL twice and finished as the runner-up in 2019 but failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2020 and 2022. Last season, CSK managed to win just four out of 14 games and finished in ninth place in the points table.

CSK Season So far

After starting their campaign with a loss to Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings bounced back to win the next two games against Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians. Despite a loss to Rajasthan Royals in their fourth game, where they failed to chase down the target of 176 runs, CSK has been on a roll ever since, winning their previous three games. In their most recent outing against Kolkata Knight Riders, CSK posted an impressive total of 235 runs for the loss of four wickets, setting a new record for the highest score in an IPL game at Eden Gardens.

What are they doing right in IPL 2023?

CSK had a lacklustre outing in 2022 after a successful run in 2021. However, this season, they have managed to check most of the boxes. Despite having one of the weakest bowling attacks on paper before the start of the season, it has been quite the opposite so far. Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande, who have very little experience, have performed exceptionally well.

In the batting department, CSK have had a new hero in almost every game. The top four, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, and Ajinkya Rahane, have been in the best of their respective forms, each with a strike rate of over 140 and has scored more than 180 runs this season.

Best at powerplay this season

Last season, CSK struggled in the powerplay, scoring just 630 runs at a strike rate of 116.17 and losing 23 wickets. However, they have addressed this issue and have been dominant in the power play this season. In seven innings, they have scored a massive 415 runs at a strike rate of 155.33 while losing only five wickets. Moreover, CSK have played the fewest dot balls in the powerplay this season. Their run rate of 9.88 in the powerplay is the highest among all teams this season.

Overall batting average

CSK’s overall batting average this season has been 34.26, which is higher than its average of 31.93 in 2021. The top four batters have been responsible for most of the runs this season. Openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad have been in excellent form, scoring over 250 runs each. Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube have also played vital roles in the team.

Taking plenty of wickets

Tushar Deshpande has emerged as a star performer for CSK in the ongoing season. He has scalped 12 wickets in seven matches at an impressive average of 23.17, an economy rate of 10.97, and a strike rate of 12.67. Tushar has been successful in picking four wickets in the powerplay while maintaining an economy of 9.76. He has also proved to be equally effective in the death overs, bagging six wickets at an average of 19.16. The spinners have played a crucial role for CSK at the spin-friendly conditions in Chepauk, delivering an economy of seven and an average of 15.3. Jadeja has been the leading wicket-taker among the spinners, with 10 wickets at an average of 17.6, while Moeen Ali has picked seven wickets at an average of 14. Overall, CSK has taken 49 wickets this season so far, the second-highest number of wickets by a team.

Rahane has been a revelation.

After being picked by CSK for his base price of INR 50 lakh in the auction last year, Ajinkya Rahane made an impressive debut for the team. In his first match, he scored 61 runs off 27 deliveries and reached his half-century off just 19 balls, tying for the joint-fastest half-century for CSK in IPL. This season, he has been in excellent form, scoring 209 runs in five games at an average of 52.25 and a strike rate of 199.05. He currently has the highest strike rate among batters who have scored over 200 runs this season.

A resurgence of Shivam Dube

Shivam Dube had a disappointing start to his 2022 IPL campaign, having scored just 82 runs in the first four matches at a nominal strike rate of 88.89. However, he has found his form in the last two outings, scoring two consecutive half-centuries. In the first of these, he scored at a blistering strike rate of 192.59, while in the most recent match, he smashed the ball at an astonishing strike rate of 238.1. Overall, Dube has made 184 runs in six innings this season at an average of 30.67 and an impressive strike rate of 157.26. In the previous season, he had scored 289 runs in 11 innings at an average of 28.9 and a strike rate of 156.22.

Consistency of Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad

Last year, Devon Conway had an impressive debut season, scoring 252 runs in seven games with an average of 42 and a strike rate of 145.66. He even managed to score three half-centuries. Conway has been even better this season, surpassing his previous record, with 314 runs in seven games at an average of 52.33 and a strike rate of 143.38. Notably, he has scored half-centuries in his last four outings. In 2021, Ruturaj Gaikwad won the orange cap and was the leading run-scorer in 2022. This year, he has made 270 runs in seven games, with an average of 45 and a strike rate of 147.54.

Can CSK retain the top position by the end of the league stage?

Chennai Super Kings have been consistently performing well this season and have won five out of their seven games, putting them at the top of the points table. The team has excelled in all departments of the game. However, due to their injuries, CSK has been missing the services of Deepak Chahar and Ben Stokes. Their return to the playing 11 will further strengthen the team. Chahar’s skills can be crucial in the powerplay, while Stokes can be a valuable asset in all aspects of the game. With their current form, CSK is in a good position to finish the season in the top spot and potentially clinch their fifth title.

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