After enduring their worst-ever IPL campaign last year, CSK will look to roar back to form this year.
CSK have reached the IPL playoffs every year, except in 2020. Considering their stellar record in the competition, the word consistency has become synonymous with the CSK franchise since the inception of IPL in 2008.
Talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has been their regular captain in all the seasons. He has successfully led CSK to three IPL titles and five runner-up finishes.
CSK won the IPL title in 2010, 2011 and 2018. Only the Mumbai Indians (5) have more IPL trophies in their cabinet than CSK.
Unlike most other teams in the IPL, the CSK team management has always emphasised building a strong Indian core. This strategy has paid rich dividends for them for many years.
Top four CSK run-scorers in the IPL:
Players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja, among others, have formed a strong Indian contingent over the years at CSK .
Over the years, there have also been some astonishing individual batting performances from CSK batsmen. On that note, let's have a look at the four-most prolific CSK run-scorers in IPL history.
#4 Michael Hussey - 1768 runs
Michael Hussey has been an integral part of CSK from the inaugural IPL season till his retirement in 2015.
He scored an unbeaten century (116*) in CSK's IPL debut match against KXIP in 2008, setting the stage on fire with some exquisite stroke- play. He mostly played in the middle order for the team until star-opener Mathew Hayden retired.
After Hayden's departure, Hussey donned the role of an opening batsman for CSK.
He went on to forge several match-winning partnerships with Murali Vijay at the top. The duo's 159-run opening partnership played a pivotal role in CSK's victory against RCB in the IPL 2011 final. Hussey scored an attacking innings of 63 in this match.
Hussey has played in the IPL every season between 2008 and 2015. He played for CSK in all but one season during this period; Hussey played one season for the Mumbai Indians. The left-hander is one of the most consistent run-scorers for CSK in the IPL, amassing over 1700 runs in exactly 50 games.
Matches - 50 | Runs - 1768 | HS - 116* | Average - 42.09 | 100s - 1 | 50s -13.
#3 Faf du Plessis - 2088 runs
Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been with the yellow army since 2012. After Michael Hussey's retirement, Du Plessis became a reliable top-order batsman for CSK,
His valuable partnerships with Shane Watson, Rayudu,and Raina have played a crucial role in the team's successful campaigns over the years.
Du Plessis' most productive IPL campaign with CSK came last season. He scored 449 runs at an impressive average of 40.81 and scored four fifties. He was the solitary shining light in an otherwise disastrous campaign for CSK.
In the upcoming IPL season, he will, most probably, open the innings for CSK along with Ruthuraj Gaikwad. The team will bank on him to provide steady starts at the top, which could lay a perfect platform for attacking batsmen like MS Dhoni and Moeen Ali in the middle order to finish the innings on a high.
Matches - 76 | Runs - 2088 | HS - 96 | Average - 33.14 | 100s - 0 | 50s -14.
#2 MS Dhoni - 4058 runs
Legendary wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has scored over 4000 runs for CSK, even though he has mostly batted lower down the order in a finisher's role for most of his IPL career.
His calm presence in the death overs has helped CSK clinch many victories in crunch situations. The 2018 and 2019 seasons were one of the most productive ones for Dhoni as a batsman.
During these two years, there was a resurgence of sorts for MSD, as he seemed to recover his old hitting form. He scored 455 runs in IPL 2018 and played a crucial role in the team's title-winning campaign.
In 2019, he led the team from the front and ended up as CSK's leading scorer. Apart from his astute captaincy, MSD is the second-most prolific run-scorer for CSK in IPL history.
Both fans and the team management will hope that their beloved Thala will rewind the clock and put on a show with the bat in the slog overs in IPL 2021.
Matches - 174 | Runs - 4058 | HS - 84* | Average - 42.71 | 100s - 0 | 50s -21.
#1 Suresh Raina - 4527 runs
CSK's long-serving top-order batsmen, Suresh Raina, holds the pole position in this list. The left-hander has been part of CSK's set-up along with MS Dhoni ever since the inaugural season of the IPL.
Suresh Raina plied his trade for Gujarat Lions for two seasons(2016, 2017) as their captain when the CSK team was banned.
Raina has played at no. 3 for most of his IPL career and is currently the second-highest runscorer in IPL history, just behind RCB captain Virat Kohli.
The left-handed batsman played a key role in CSK's maiden IPL triumph in 2010. He was in scintillating form throughout that season, scoring 520 runs at an astonishing average of 47.27
Suresh Raina's rock-solid presence in the middle order for CSK has been one of the key reasons for the team's consistency in the batting department over the years.
Raina's stupendous knock of 87 off 25 balls for CSK while chasing a target of 227 against KXIP in the playoffs of IPL 2014 ranks as one of the most destructive innings of all time in the history of the IPL.