Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, the comeback of Chennai Super Kings after two years of suspension is moving towards a perfect finish as they have entered the Indian Premier League (IPL) final for a record seventh time. India's most loved cricketer Dhoni returned to his two-time champion side after a controversial journey with Rising Pune Supergiant. Now, the Dhoni-led CSK will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in the big-ticket title-clash on Sunday (April 27). (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
It is tough for any team to make a comeback after suspension but CSK trusted their former players and united them again in the IPL 2018 players auction. The retention of Dhoni, besides Suresh Raina, Ravinder Jadeja, Dwyane Bravo and Faf du Plessis, worked well in their favour in the 11th edition of the IPL. (ALSO READ: IPL 2018, Final | Key battles that will decide the fate of CSK vs SRH title clash)
CSK played flawless cricket this year, the play-offs qualification was never out of their reach throughout the season. The high point of the two-time champions has been the fact that they are not dependable on any single player. They are the team full of quality players, who can win a match on their own. Some people criticised CSK management a lot after the auction, when they bought most players above the age of 30. However, the yellow brigade proved them wrong in the end.
The way Stephen Fleming, head coach of CSK, united the team and utilised every player in the squad has been commendable and praise worthy.
This Sunday, CSK will get the perfect opportunity to equalise the record of Mumbai Indians for maximum IPL trophies (3). CSK have the advantage of playing six IPL finals before but they also lost four out of them. It will be interesting to see how CSK will improve their win-loss ratio in the IPL finals.
Here is the list of CSK players who have to live up to the expectations of the fans in the final of the cash-rich league.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
CSK have the biggest fan base in India and their skipper MS Dhoni deserves the maximum credit for this. Former Indian captain has such a gifted cricketing mind that makes him better than any captain in the tournament. He will surely play a big role in the finals for his team as he has delighted with the willow this season, having scored 455 runs in 15 matches so far. Dhoni is a player, whose presence is enough to make the opposition scared.
2. Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is a highly-rated batsman in IPL that's why he is known as Mr IPL. He has got the experience to play on a high pressure situation that will be the plus point for CSK. The left-handed batsman is the highest run-getter in the league history, with 4953 runs. All these runs assure how vital a player he will be for CSK in the final. Although he has scored 413 runs till now, Raina has set his standard so high that people are calling it an underperforming season for him.
3. Ambati Rayudu
At the start of the season, nobody thought that Ambati Rayudu will become such an impactful player amid the presence of other prominent names in the squad. But the way MS Dhoni utilised him as an opener, it just redeemed his career. This season has been Rayudu's most successful season statistically. He has scored 586 runs in 15 matches. CSK will wish him to carry his good form to the finals to clinch their third IPL title.
4. Shane Watson
The Australian all-rounder Shane Watson might be the most valuable player in the shortest format of game and CSK will look to get best out of his experience while playing their seventh IPL finale. Watson is a player with such caliber that he can win matches on his own. His strike rate of 145.03 in this season shows his destructive form at the top of the order.
5. Faf du Plessis
The South African captain was the smartest buy of the season, when CSK retained him for just Rs 1.6 Crore, using the RTM card for him. After a sluggish season, du Plessis proved his worth when it mattered the most. He led CSK to their seventh final by scoring an unbeaten 67 in a critical situation against SRH in the Qualifier 1. The two-time champions will require him to continue the heroics in final.