Champions League T20 2012

Super Kings out to add to success

Kanishkaa Balachandran

October 13, 2012

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A


Chennai celebrate a wicket, Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2012, final, Chennai, May 27, 2012
Ben Hilfenhaus troubled batsmen with his pace and swing in IPL 2012 © Associated Press
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Since lifting their first IPL trophy in 2010, Chennai Super Kings have proven time and again why they are among the most successful Twenty20 franchises, with two IPL titles and a Champions League (2010) title to boot. They nearly made it a hat-trick of IPL titles this year; they were upstaged in front of delirious home fans by Kolkata Knight Riders in a tense, high-scoring final. Their path to the final was a story in itself. A patchy league stage raised doubts of them making the playoffs, but with a mixture of incredible luck and self belief, they made it one step further.

Their batting in the league stages was inconsistent, despite possessing many hitters. It came down to a stage where they needed to win four out of four to make the playoffs. They won the first three - including crushing wins against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils - but lost the fourth, against Kings XI Punjab. Their only hope was if the other results went their way and incredibly, they did. Super Kings sneaked into the playoffs as the fourth team, before overpowering Mumbai Indians and Daredevils to make it to the finals. For the second season in a row, adversity brought out the best in them.

Super Kings mastered South African conditions in their last visit in 2010, lifting the Champions League after upsetting the home side Warriors in a one-sided final. This time they will be without Dwayne Bravo - who pulled out due to a thigh strain - and the batsman S Anirudha. They are clubbed with Sydney Sixers, Lions, Yorkshire and Mumbai Indians.

How they qualified


Super Kings made a dramatic entry to the final of IPL 2012 but even their imposing score of 190 wasn't enough as Knight Riders closed out a nail-biter with two balls to spare.

Key Player


Suresh Raina has played a whopping 91 matches for Super Kings since 2008 and has scored 2525 runs with 16 fifties. His presence has been as important as their captain MS Dhoni. He was also Super Kings' leading run-getter in IPL 2012 with 441 runs at a strike-rate of 135.69. While his position in the Test team has been questioned, there's no doubt that he's among the best T20 batsmen in the country.

Surprise package


Ben Hilfenhaus was a relative newcomer to the line-up after missing the whole of the 2011 season due to injury. He caused problems for batsmen with his pace and swing and in a match against Royals, he produced tight figures of 4-1-8-2. He ended the tournament with 14 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.85.

Weakness


The team may be loaded with power-hitters and the best finishers in the game, but they still lack an out-and-out quick bowler capable of bouncing out batsmen in favourable pitches in South Africa. Doug Bollinger and Hilfenhaus are the quickest of the lot, but can be erratic. Nuwan Kulasekara and Albie Morkel bowl at similar pace and are effective in their own ways. Bravo's slower balls will be missed.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sweetspot on (October 14, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

Don't worry about CSK. They will figure out better than most what to do with any new situation. Once in a while you will see them buckle for apparently no reason at all, but they will do just enough to get to the knockouts, and then bring all the reserve energy to knock out tough opponents. It is an ongoing theme. @Owls - So except Michael Hussey, the rest of the team should not walk out to bat against "genuine pace"? That's a holler and a hoot. Pace can be whacked and T20 is a batsman's paradise, if you haven't noticed.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (October 14, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

The kkr vs dd match provd my predictn absolutely bulls eye spot on regardng 'ABILITY',N,'TALNT' OF INDIAN BATSMEN(BOTH YOUNG N OLD),THESE BATSMEN R NO BETR THAN PAK BATRS ON GREEN TOP,HARD,PACY,BOUNCY PITCHES N IPL TEAMS R NO WAY AHEAD OF PAK DOMESTIC TEAMS IF THEIR INTRNATNL PLAYRS R BARRED.UNMUKT Z A FLAT TRACK SLOGER LIKE JADEJA,DHONI,RAIN... ......N LIST GOES ON.

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

My pick for the playing 11: M Vijay, M Hussey, S Raina, S Badrinath, MSD, Albie, Jadu, Kulasekara, Ash, Jakati, Hilfenhaus

fast: Hilfenhaus, Kula, Albie spin: Ash, Jadu, Jakati, raina (as a backup)

To be honest, Kulasekara is the better replacement. He could play proper cricketing shots and could swing the ball either ways (which is key for SA Pitches). It would be really interesting to see what MS and Steve decides for playing 11. Nevertheless, CSK is "the" team to beat.

Posted by Owls on (October 14, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Leaving out Faf may not be the best option. We need to bolster the team with batsmen who can play genuine pace. Except for Hussey no one else can claim to be able to do so. Vijay, Raina, Badri, Jadeja can all be bounced out

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

My CSK XI - Murali Vijay, Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, MS Dhoni, Albie Morkel, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, N Kulasekara, Doug Bollinger, S Jakati.

Its Mike Hussey or Faf Du Plessis, but I think Hussey in a great form after the world T20...

3 Foreign bowlers, cos that's where CSK are weak at..

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

my team : vijay,faf du plessis,raina, badrinath, dhoni,morkel,jsaha,jadeja,ashwin,bollinger,hilfenhaus.......last three can bowl their quote,morkel jadeja and faf can bowl the reamaing ones....batting will be thier strength

Posted by theswami on (October 14, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

My team : du Plessis, Vijay, Raina,Badri, Dhoni, Morkel, Jadeja, Ashwin, YoMahesh, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger/Kulasekara.

Posted by vinodkumar on (October 14, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

Bravo not playing is a big blow. MS has a task in finding the right eleven. What this does is he has to have either Yo Mahesh of Jakati as the fifth bowler in the playing eleven. We h ave seen that Jakati can be useful but how will he fare in the conditions in SA. Yo Mahesh as the fifth bowler is not much of an option. Bravo's absence also means that MS will have to play either Kula or Bollinger to bolster the attack. Now that means he may have to leave out Faf, who is in good form. Husse, Albie and Hify are the first choice non-indian player and since there is no Indian quick in the squad (except Yo mi) MS may go with Kula or Bollinger at the expense of Faf. Vijay was in geat form back home. If he has taken that with him to South Africa, MS will be a relieved man.

Posted by hemanth.reddy on (October 14, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

in this conditions hussey will be best option at top

Posted by   on (October 14, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

CSK need to play with 4 foriegn players Michael Hussey, Faf du plesis , Albie Morkel and Doug Bollinger

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