5 players who were at their peak while representing Chennai Super Kings in IPL

Manpreet Gony and Albie Morkel were an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings
Manpreet Gony and Albie Morkel were an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings

The Chennai Super Kings are one of the most successful franchises in IPL history with three championships to their name in 13 seasons. MS Dhoni's captaincy has been the most significant reason behind CSK's success in the tournament.

Dhoni builds his squad wisely and has a player for every situation. Even though the Chennai Super Kings were given the title of 'Daddy's Army' in IPL 2018, Dhoni's leadership guided them to the title that year.

Unfortunately, some key CSK players opted out of IPL 2020, forcing Dhoni to change his plans at the last moment. As a result, the Chennai Super Kings missed out on a playoff berth for the first time in their IPL history.

Nevertheless, CSK have been famous for giving the players enough opportunities to prove their talents. It has been noted that some cricketers brought their 'A' game to the table only when they played for the Chennai Super Kings and have struggled in other teams. Here's a look at five such players.

5. Manpreet Gony made his international debut after impressing for the Chennai Super Kings

Indian fast bowler Manpreet Gony was one of the top finds of the inaugural IPL season. The right-arm pacer played a vital role in the Chennai Super Kings' journey to their first IPL final in 2008.

Manpreet Gony was the second-most successful Indian bowler in the first IPL season. He played 16 games for the Chennai Super Kings, picking up 17 wickets at an economy rate of 7.07. Courtesy of his excellent outing with CSK, Gony received his maiden international cap in the 2008 Asia Cup.

However, Gony could not maintain his consistency. After winning the championship with CSK in 2010, he moved to the Deccan Chargers. He even played for the Punjab Kings and the Gujarat Lions later. But in his last four IPL seasons, Gony managed only 14 wickets, with his economy rate being above 8.6 every season.

4. Albie Morkel

Royal Challengers Bangalore fans will never forget Albie Morkel's name because he stole a win for the Chennai Super Kings from the jaws of defeat against RCB in IPL 2012.

CSK required 43 runs off 12 at Chepauk that night. Virat Kohli came in to bowl the penultimate over and Morkel absolutely destroyed him by striking three fours and two maximums. The South African all-rounder brought the equation down to 15 from six balls, and CSK eventually won by five wickets.

Apart from his batting heroics, Morkel also bowled right-arm pace for the Chennai Super Kings. In six IPL seasons, Albie picked up 76 wickets for the MS Dhoni-led outfit.

But after CSK released him, Morkel could not continue in the same vein while donning the jerseys of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Delhi Capitals, and the Rising Pune Supergiant. In his last three IPL seasons, Morkel managed only 147 runs and took nine wickets.

3. Pawan Negi was a match-winner for the Chennai Super Kings

Pawan Negi will play for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021. He started his career at the Delhi Capitals in 2012, but it took him three years to come into the limelight.

Negi emerged as a game-changer for MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings in 2015. A few months after IPL 2015, Pawan even received his maiden international cap. The all-rounder played 12 games for CSK, where he amassed 116 runs in nine innings at a brilliant strike rate of 158.90. With the ball, he picked up six wickets for the Chennai-based franchise.

His cameos helped the Chennai Super Kings a lot during IPL 2015. Unfortunately, CSK received a temporary suspension in 2016. Negi returned to the Delhi Capitals and played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore later, but he could not match his IPL 2015 numbers.

2. Shadab Jakati

The man who dismissed the in-form Sachin Tendulkar and the dangerous Saurabh Tiwary in IPL 2010 final, Shadab Jakati, played a match-winning role for CSK during his time at the franchise. MS Dhoni used him to perfection as the left-arm spinner accounted for 46 wickets in 50 appearances for the Chennai Super Kings.

Jakati represented the Gujarat Lions and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the later phases of his career. His economy rate was 7.75 when playing for CSK; the same rose to 9.20 and 11.18 at GL and RCB, respectively. Also, he could only pick up two wickets in 29.4 overs for the latter two teams.

Thus, it will not be an understatement to say Shadab Jakati spent the best time of his career at the Chennai Super Kings.

1. Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay in action for the Chennai Super Kings
Murali Vijay in action for the Chennai Super Kings

Murali Vijay earned the tag of a big-match player during his first stint with the Chennai Super Kings. Vijay hit a 52-ball 95 in the IPL 2011 final against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and in the next season, he blasted a 58-ball 133 versus the Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2.

The right-handed opener held the record for the highest individual score by an Indian batsman in IPL for seven years before Rishabh Pant broke it. Vijay registered two centuries and seven fifties for the Chennai Super Kings and was the team's primary opener.

He later played for the Delhi Capitals and the Punjab Kings, but his strike rate remained below 120 during those seasons. The Chennai Super Kings offered him another deal in 2018, but Vijay could not replicate his past performance.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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