The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) enter the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) after having faced multiple setbacks. A portion of their travelling contingent in the UAE tested positive for COVID-19, before vice-captain Suresh Raina and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh withdrew from the tournament for personal reasons.
Deepak Chahar, who was one of the players who tested positive, has since recovered, but young Indian batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad is still returning positive tests and has been ordered to prolong his quarantine period.
Despite so many things going against them, CSK could still mount a challenge for their fourth IPL title. The Men in Yellow lock horns with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020 season opener, and ahead of the tournament, we take a look at 3 records that are currently held by CSK players.
#3 Harbhajan Singh has bowled the most dot balls in IPL history
Harbhajan Singh might have withdrawn from IPL 2020, but he is still very much part of the CSK roster. The veteran off-spinner has bowled 1,249 dot balls in the history of the IPL, and is a comfortably above former Mumbai Indians teammate Lasith Malinga, who is in second place with 1,155.
Both players won't play in IPL 2020, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra, who are placed third and fourth with 1,124 and 1,111 dot balls respectively, are unlikely to surpass Harbhajan on this list this year at least.
The Turbanator has picked up 150 IPL wickets so far but the fact that he is on the wrong side of 40 has led many to believe that he may have played his last game in the cash-rich league already.
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#2 Suresh Raina has made the most appearances in the IPL
Another player who has withdrawn from IPL 2020, Suresh Raina is the leading appearance-maker in the history of the tournament. The CSK vice-captain has featured in 193 games for two franchises - the Gujarat Lions being the other one - and has scored 5,368 runs to be placed second on the list of leading run-scorers.
However, Raina is set to be eclipsed by MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik, who have played 190, 188 and 182 games respectively. Even Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa, who have both appeared in 177 IPL games, can break this record if their teams make deep runs into the playoffs.
Raina will be missing an IPL season for the first time ever, and this will probably cost him a truly remarkable record.
#1 MS Dhoni has recorded the most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in IPL history
With 132 dismissals (94 catches and 38 stumpings) in 190 IPL games, MS Dhoni is the wicket-keeper who has recorded the most dismissals in the history of the prestigious league.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik is a close second, having recorded 131 dismissals (101 catches and 20 stumpings) in 182 matches. Both players are completely neck and neck, and since they will both keep wickets in IPL 2020, either player could emerge at the top of this list at the end of the tournament. Robin Uthappa is a distant third, with 90 dismissals in 177 games.
MS Dhoni's batting, captaincy and wicket-keeping will be crucial to CSK's fortunes in IPL 2020, and in the absence of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, he will have to marshal his troops expertly.
Published 16 Sep 2020, 19:58 IST