Chennai Super Kings have been the most popular, consistent and successful franchise in IPL history. One of the main reasons for CSK’s success across all editions of IPL has been the contribution from their overseas batsmen.
CSK has been propitious to have overseas batsmen like Stephen Fleming, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson. One strange coincidence with these overseas players is the fact that most of them are opening batsmen. Ironically, overseas middle-order batsmen like George Bailey and David Hussey had very little success for CSK.
In this article, we will discuss three best foreign batsmen who have represented CSK in IPL history.
#3. Matthew Hayden
Matches – 32, Runs - 1107, Average – 37, SR – 138
Matthew Hayden played in CSK’s first ever match in IPL history against Kings XI Punjab. He came good in CSK’s next match against Mumbai Indians where he made 81 off 46 balls. After playing a mere 4 matches of the inaugural IPL, the burly Aussie opener had to return home on national duty. But before leaving, he made sure that CSK won all the four matches.
It was in the second IPL in South Africa that Hayden made a telling contribution to CSK’s campaign. The South African wickets suited Hayden’s stroke play as he notched up scores of 44,65,57,49,1,30,43,89,48,60,60 not out and 26. He was the Orange Cap winner in IPL 2009.
In IPL 2010, the southpaw brought in innovation with the introduction of the “ mongoose” bat in which the handle and the blade were of equal length. It was a special bat used by Hayden in T20s facilitating the clean swing of the bat to improve on timing.
Incidentally, Hayden’s best innings in IPL came with the “mongoose bat” in the 11th match of IPL 2010 against Delhi. In that match, Delhi batted first and left CSK with a target of 185. After playing with his regular bat for the first 4 overs, Hayden let loose the “mongoose”. The first four balls with the mongoose bat went for 4,6,4 and 4.
The “Mongoose” was proved to be equally effective against spin when Hayden walloped Dilshan for 3 sixes in one over. At the blink of an eye, he reached 93 off 43 balls with 9 fours and 7 sixes. In the end, CSK won that match comfortably.
Matthew Hayden played the dominant role as an opener for CSK and was part of the team which won the trophy in 2010.