The surface at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in IPL 2021 has been an Achilles heel for most batsmen, who have struggled to adapt to the slow nature of the pitch.
Five players who flourished at the Chepauk in IPL 2021:
Despite its reputation, the sluggish Chepauk track has seen a few batters stand tall and tame its vagaries. With the Chennai leg of IPL 2021 now over, let's take a look at the top five run-getters at the venue this season.
#5 Suryakumar Yadav - 154 runs (5 games)
Suryakumar Yadav has been in steady form this season. The 30-year-old Mumbai Indians (MI) batsman scored 154 runs in five games at the Chepauk, doing so at a strike rate of over 143, which is the third-best among batsmen who have faced 60 or more deliveries at the venue this season.
Although the right-hander failed to notch up big scores in Chennai, his noteworthy cameos enabled MI to wade through the tough middle overs, when scoring proved difficult.
#4 Nitish Rana - 155 runs (3 games)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener Nitish Rana began his IPL 2021 campaign with a bang, scoring 80 off 56 balls to get his team off to a winning start.
The left-hander went on to amass 155 runs in three games at the Chepauk. Promoted to open the innings this year, the 27-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands, anchoring the innings from one end while also displaying his exemplary hitting prowess.
As part of a team with international superstars, Rana has carved a niche for himself with his performances at the top of the order.
#3 Glenn Maxwell - 176 runs (3 games)
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell could not have hoped for a better start to his campaign, scoring two half-centuries in his first three games for his new team, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Striking at almost 150, Maxwell scored 176 runs in three games at the Chepauk, with RCB winning all three games at the venue. Batting at No. 4, Maxwell unfurled his wide array of shots, often leaving bowlers clueless.
The right-hander will look to continue his dominant run and help his team win their maiden title this season.
#2 Rohit Sharma - 201 runs (5 games)
The 'Hitman' has been the Mumbai Indians’ best batsman in IPL 2021.
With 201 runs at an impressive average of 40, Rohit Sharma has led from the front in tough conditions at the Chepauk, where the defending champions won only two of their five games.
It marked the first time Rohit Sharma has scored over 200 runs in his first five IPL matches, with his previous best being 190 in the 2015 edition. The MI captain will hope to continue his exploits as his team eye an unprecedented three-peat this year.
#1 Jonny Bairstow - 211 runs (5 games)
The English international was the best batsman at the Chepauk in IPL 2021.
Jonny Bairstow racked up 211 runs in five games at an average of 52 and a strike rate in excess of 141. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been instrumental in providing his team with fiery starts, looking in control against both pacers and spinners.
On a track where most batsmen struggled to clear the fence, the 31-year-old Bairstow hit 14 sixes, the most by any batsman at the venue in IPL 2021.