Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-time best XI in IPL history

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-time best XI in IPL history

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is the only team to have had only one captain. MS Dhoni has led the team very well and a lot of their success is down to him.

Chennai Super Kings IPL
IPL 2018 champions Chennai Super Kings. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Mumbai Indians may have overtaken Chennai Super Kings by winning 4 IPL titles, but if you ever have to pick the most consistent side in the IPL throughout the years, it has to be the Yellow Army. Out of the 10 seasons in which CSK have been involved in, they have reached the playoffs every single time!

They have also reached the final on eight occasions which is another record, winning 3 of them. CSK also have the highest win percentage of all the IPL teams. They have also won the CLT20 in 2010 and 2014, which is the joint highest number of CLT20 wins along with Mumbai Indians.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is the only team to have had only one captain. MS Dhoni has led the team very well and a lot of their success is down to him. He has not only been a very influential captain but has also been one of the best batsmen in the tournament’s history. Speaking of batsmen and one-club men, Suresh Raina has also been excellent while playing for CSK and his record speaks for himself.

If there is one thing similar between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, it is the culture instilled in both the sides and a lot of this is down to Stephen Fleming. The former Kiwi skipper has built a formidable partnership with MS Dhoni at CSK. Fleming, who played for CSK in 2008, has played the role of head coach since 2009 and the chemistry built among the players is hugely down to him.

The brand value of CSK in 2019 is estimated to be around INR 732 crore, making them the second-most valuable IPL franchise, after Mumbai Indians. The team has primarily played it’s home matches at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. They were banned in 2015 because the team’s owners were involved in the 2013 IPL betting fiasco, but they made a great comeback in 2018 by winning the title. It is obvious that such a great side would be filled with star-studded names.

Here is our take on their all-time XI:

1. Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay. (Photo: IANS)

IPL has been a great platform for lesser-known Indian players to showcase their talent on a big stage. Although Vijay made his test debut for India in 2008, his clout increased after some solid performances for Chennai Super Kings. He scored over 450 runs in 2010, following which he earned his place in both the T20 as well as the ODI setup for India. Out of his 458 runs that season, 127 were scored against Rajasthan Royals which is the highest score in his IPL career. His strike rate of 156.84 is another indication of how good he was that year, as CSK won their first-ever title.

He followed up that breakthrough season, by scoring 434, 336 and 312 runs in the next 3 seasons. His strike rate wasn’t quite as much as it was in 2010, but Vijay was consistently scoring runs at the top of the order. The brightest moment in his IPL career was in the final of the 2011 campaign. Vijay smashed 95 runs in just 52 balls at a quickfire strike rate of 182.69 which helped his team post a target of 205 runs which was just too much for RCB to chase down.

Chennai Super Kings decided not to retain Vijay for the 2014 season. Following an average campaign for Delhi Daredevils, he joined Kings XI Punjab. He scored 453 runs in the 2017 season for the Mohali-based outfit. After CSK’s ban ended, they decided to recruit Vijay in 2018 but he hasn’t been able to recreate his form from his early days with the side. All in all, Vijay has scored 2587 runs in 103 matches in his IPL career.