Over the years, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been home to some of the greatest cricketers of all time in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The 3-time IPL champions have always had a stacked roster, led by one of the best captains ever in MS Dhoni.
Great T20 players who flopped for CSK in the IPL
Most players who feature for CSK in the IPL live up to their potential, but chances are sometimes scarce in the team brimming with quality.
Either due to lack of opportunities or injuries, some great T20 players haven't had the best of times at Chepauk - Jacob Oram, Justin Kemp, and Chris Morris to name a few.
In this article, we take a look at 3 great T20 players who flopped for CSK.
#3 Samuel Badree
Samuel Badree was part of CSK for only one IPL season in 2014 and played 4 matches, picking up 2 wickets at an average of 48.5.
Just before that edition of the IPL, Badree played a crucial role in the T20 World Cup for West Indies, taking 11 wickets in 5 games and finishing as the third-highest wicket-taker. His performances in the tournament propelled him to the No. 1 spot in the ICC T20 bowling rankings.
Signed by CSK to shine on the spin-friendly wickets at Chepauk, the leg-spinner was expected to be a key bowler in a team that has always favoured spinners bowling in the powerplay. Under MS Dhoni, Badree was bound to excel but just didn't make the mark on the team he was predicted to.
The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja usually kept him out of the team, and Badree didn't offer enough with the bat to take up one of the 4 foreigner slots. Given the success other leg-spinners like Imran Tahir have seen at CSK in the IPL, it is fair to call the 39-year-old a flop.
#2 Andrew Flintoff
The T20 format came perhaps a few years too late for Andrew Flintoff to truly make his mark on it. But when he was signed by CSK in the 2009 edition of the IPL, the England all-rounder was the marquee pick and the highest-paid player in the tournament.
Flintoff played only 3 games for CSK in the IPL, scoring 62 runs and picking up 2 wickets. A knee injury prevented him from featuring further and he was sent home shortly after to have surgery. The big-hitting all-rounder's strengths were tailor-made for the IPL and given the fanfare surrounding him when he arrived in South Africa (the venue for the 2009 edition), he was a major flop.
Speaking about his ill-fated IPL stint later, Flintoff said that CSK 'didn't mean so much to him'.
"But when I played for Chennai in the IPL in 2009, I couldn't name everyone in my own team and coaching staff. I remember standing in the middle of the field, in a yellow kit, and my body was sore and hurting, as usual," Flintoff said.
"But I just couldn't put everything on the line for Chennai. It's not a reflection on them. It's simply that the team didn't mean so much to me," he added.
#1 Thisara Perera
Thisara Perera is an all-rounder in the same mould as Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel, two cricketers who are among CSK's greatest IPL players of all time. But the Sri Lankan, who was in the CSK squad for the 2010 IPL, played only one game.
Perera didn't bat in that solitary game and bowled one over (which had 5 full tosses) that went for 19 runs. Needless to say, he was dropped immediately afterwards and released ahead of the next IPL auction. He went on to play for 5 more IPL teams in a journeyman career, but didn't make an impact at any of those teams.
With his smart cutters and destructive batting lower down the order, the 31-year-old could have become one of CSK's mainstays for years to come, but it wasn't to be for Perera.
Interestingly, in a Champions League T20 game against CSK while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Perera was destroyed by MS Dhoni, who hit the medium pacer for 5 sixes in an over.
Published 29 Jul 2020, 15:20 IST