May 4, 2012

Is CSK's reputation strangling them?

They seem a shadow of their former selves. Has fear of losing begun to tie them down?
  shares 82

Jonathan Wilson's very academic dissection, in the Guardian this week, of Barcelona and Pep Guardiola's decline is worthy of much analysis. This is a shortish article, so let's get into it straightaway.

First, let us not forget that Barcelona is a team that many still view as the greatest on the planet. They have won a couple of trophies this year, made the semi-final of the Champions League, and finished a very strong second in La Liga, in the eyes of some a league that produces the highest quality of football. Many managers, owners and fans would have celebrated it as a great year. But Barcelona cannot, for like Manchester United and Tendulkar and Federer they are condemned to be weighed in different scales. A second place for Valencia or Arsenal would be a moment to celebrate; for Barcelona or United, something to grieve over.

Wilson also quotes a Hungarian coach, Bela Guttman, as saying that the third year is fatal; that that is normally the span of a great team. It is arguable but it possibly applies to family businesses too. The patriarch struggles and sets up something from scratch, the next generation, which has seen strife, understands the value of what he has done and takes the business to new heights, and finally the third, unaware of adversity and the need to stay rooted and fight your way out of trouble, leads the decline. You see that in individual sport: the mystery bowler and the girl with the booming forehand surprise everyone initially, ride the wave in the second, and become predictable and one-dimensional in the third - unless they have learnt to re-invent themselves in the interim.

Often great teams are blinded by success. They make the mistake of thinking that success will continue to flow, and in doing so, ignore the reasons that produced success in the first place. The great West Indies team went into decline because that great generation had been built on discipline and rigour. In subsequent teams that was a matter of individual choice, not a team ethic. The men who mattered didn't worry about the back end, about the systems that would keep the supply line running. Maybe they began believing stories of their own invincibility, a state of mind that afflicts even the mightiest.

And now I see the Chennai Super Kings, by some distance the best team in the relatively short history of the IPL, two-time winners, past winners of the Champions League, wearing the same colours as they did in those years, showcasing the same personalities but playing like someone else. The team, and its captain, look lethargic, there is little joy on the field, they look like they are reading from a tired script. An old family doctor would have said: give them a dose of vitamins.

Why is this great team suddenly floundering? I wonder if, at the start of the season, they were consumed by their own invincibility. In the two years gone by, whenever a tense situation loomed, they knew (and often the opponents knew too) that someone would take them home. That Dhoni, one of the game's great finishers, would find a way if no one else did. But in great teams you need free spirits continuously challenging beliefs, arguing against the status quo. The current method might still be the best, but it must emerge as such after being challenged. Who challenges Dhoni, a player with a record that few can aspire to possess? Is that it? Or is he just tired?

Maybe their reputation is strangling them: the fact that if CSK win it is just another day, but if they lose it is an event. And so, are they scared of losing? I sense this in another outstanding team on paper, the Mumbai Indians, too; this great fear of losing. And so, as Wilson says, maybe there is a "negative self-immolation": the tension, the obsession with the result. Inevitably tense teams are defensive teams. Flair resides with its close companion, freedom. CSK look tense, MI look tense. Delhi Daredevils have bigger deficiencies but they seem not to obsess over them. Kings Xl and Rajasthan Royals don't have the firepower, but they have freedom and positivity. They are not strangled by reputation.

Great teams replenish with youth, for the young bring vigour and irreverence. They do not accept reputations; you have to prove your worth to them. When the mighty are on their toes, they are doubly dangerous. Maybe that is the lesson for all teams. Maybe that is what Alex Ferguson does so well, constantly injecting youth. Maybe at Barcelona the speeches, the words of inspiration, have lost their sting. Maybe another Guardiola is needed. And maybe at CSK a vibrant, positive challenge to authority will work.

It will be interesting to see because in their completely different worlds, in differently evolved leagues, these are great teams.

Harsha Bhogle is contracted to the IPL. He also commentates on other cricket, and is a television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    @sayantan Its a joke when someone says Ashwin is Mediocre.Please check with the records.Ravindra Jadeja was the most sought after player this IPL. I wonder if u follow all the buzz around the League.Everyone were waving the Indian flag when Dhoni hit the six of the last over in the WC2011.I would say that the league is not yet over.BTW Dhoni can choose the players whom he wants at his disposal.The unit has some dexterous people behind the screens,Simsek,King,Russell.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    CSK is being ruined by MSD and his insanely illogical desire of playing extremely mediocre players like Aswin & Ravi Jadeja.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    CSK has enough batters on top, if morkel gona come and face only 10 balls, no point of having him in team as a bowler, he can be replaced by a genuine fast bowler, may be bollinger or kulasekara, which will give dhoni a bowling option.....

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Dear Alesk400, Its funny that you consider a team with 2 IPL wins, 1 finals, 1 SF (their worst finish) and a CL win due to LUCK. Taking smart decision in crunch time is everything in T20. Just imaging if Pollard was promoted ahead of Duminy in 2010 finals. It would have altered the course of IPL. Great teams do the right thing during pressure. Dhnoi is the greatest leader (along with Sourav) that Indian cricket has produced in last 20 years. But India can rule only in IPL because our cricketers are generally hyped as they are duds (after Dravid retired) outside sub contintent.

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @arpit, what about Jadeja, YP, Vinay Kumar performance in internationals? I think IPL has given opportunity to many players outside CSK also. BTW Aswhin still has the best economy among all bowlers in IPL. Request you to check the facts. What is wrong if he is selected to play for India basd on this? Its a different thing if he had not done well for India but he has just played 5-6 matches yet. This is IPL and this article is about CSK. Without any doubt they are the best side in 1st 4 IPLs. Last question. Is Srikanth, Sreenivasan more powerful than Sharad Pawar and Ambani?

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    CSK bashing is obviously due to 2 cosecutive wins and a CL win (with semis being their worst result in IPL) has not gone down well with these sports loving people. Many do not consider CSK as having great players because they play as a unit. All the players in the playing 11 have won man of the match awards. Indians are used to praise individual glory forgetting cricket is a team sport. This is the only country that celebrate when their star player (read Sachin) score century but India loses. India sacrificed Asia cup finals for his century. CSK along with RR utilise the resource in the best way. Having said that CSK is playing their worst cricket in IPL and I dont think with this form they deserve play off spot. They are running out of gas

  • POSTED BY venkat82p on | May 6, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    CSK is actually struggling to find a good team, they are focusing more on batting which is already having great muscles, what they need to focus is on bowling, which is currently a fat on their body. We hardly see morkel & badrinath getting enough batting, when they already have batsmen who are not getting any chance to bat i wonder why is it not a good idea to include bollinger and hilfenaus?.I think they effectively using only 9 players remaining 2 players they are in the team only to do fielding, I wonder how CSK team management dint give a thought on this.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    What CSK lacks at this moment is a strike bowler like Morne Morkel/Dale Steyn/Malinga, they had Bollinger doing this job in their last seasons, however now he is not in a great form. In this IPL season, CSK is winning only because of their batting and whenever the batsmens fails to score a competitive total, they fail, however this was not the case last season where they made suprises even with the bowling. Having said that, CSK will definitely bounce back in this season itself, Kulasekara could do a decent job, though cannot replace Bollinger of last season, having Jadeja is another advantage, CSK has got this season. If Murali Vijay could regain his form, then CSK will become invincible even in this season. CSK had been experimenting all their different permutations and combinations so far, the time has come to make it work what they have learnt form their experimentations like Bravo should never be allowed to bowl power play overs and Saha, Yo Majesh are not fit in playing 11.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    In Harsha Bhogle's articles, I find more questions than answers. Is it an effect of being the host for espn-star putting questions to the likes of Gavaskar ? Harsha, we need your opinion not your doubts and questions. :) You have very good analytical skills and we would like you to stand by what you say rather than asking questions to the audience. :)

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | May 6, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    I define dhoni captaincy to one Word. LUCK. He is a luckiest person. CSK team is full of no bodies from beginning yet they won. Only one reason , LUCK. Lots of team had great T20 players , still they could n't for some reason or another. CSK had no planning , they just damn lucky. CSK had bunch of all rounders who can field well. May be you can give them brainy team when it comes to crunch time they make best decision. They really don't have talent even from the b first IPL. What they had is luck of Dhoni and his aura. His luck deserts him when his ego grow too much. At present he is not a good captain.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    @sayantan Its a joke when someone says Ashwin is Mediocre.Please check with the records.Ravindra Jadeja was the most sought after player this IPL. I wonder if u follow all the buzz around the League.Everyone were waving the Indian flag when Dhoni hit the six of the last over in the WC2011.I would say that the league is not yet over.BTW Dhoni can choose the players whom he wants at his disposal.The unit has some dexterous people behind the screens,Simsek,King,Russell.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    CSK is being ruined by MSD and his insanely illogical desire of playing extremely mediocre players like Aswin & Ravi Jadeja.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    CSK has enough batters on top, if morkel gona come and face only 10 balls, no point of having him in team as a bowler, he can be replaced by a genuine fast bowler, may be bollinger or kulasekara, which will give dhoni a bowling option.....

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Dear Alesk400, Its funny that you consider a team with 2 IPL wins, 1 finals, 1 SF (their worst finish) and a CL win due to LUCK. Taking smart decision in crunch time is everything in T20. Just imaging if Pollard was promoted ahead of Duminy in 2010 finals. It would have altered the course of IPL. Great teams do the right thing during pressure. Dhnoi is the greatest leader (along with Sourav) that Indian cricket has produced in last 20 years. But India can rule only in IPL because our cricketers are generally hyped as they are duds (after Dravid retired) outside sub contintent.

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @arpit, what about Jadeja, YP, Vinay Kumar performance in internationals? I think IPL has given opportunity to many players outside CSK also. BTW Aswhin still has the best economy among all bowlers in IPL. Request you to check the facts. What is wrong if he is selected to play for India basd on this? Its a different thing if he had not done well for India but he has just played 5-6 matches yet. This is IPL and this article is about CSK. Without any doubt they are the best side in 1st 4 IPLs. Last question. Is Srikanth, Sreenivasan more powerful than Sharad Pawar and Ambani?

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 6, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    CSK bashing is obviously due to 2 cosecutive wins and a CL win (with semis being their worst result in IPL) has not gone down well with these sports loving people. Many do not consider CSK as having great players because they play as a unit. All the players in the playing 11 have won man of the match awards. Indians are used to praise individual glory forgetting cricket is a team sport. This is the only country that celebrate when their star player (read Sachin) score century but India loses. India sacrificed Asia cup finals for his century. CSK along with RR utilise the resource in the best way. Having said that CSK is playing their worst cricket in IPL and I dont think with this form they deserve play off spot. They are running out of gas

  • POSTED BY venkat82p on | May 6, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    CSK is actually struggling to find a good team, they are focusing more on batting which is already having great muscles, what they need to focus is on bowling, which is currently a fat on their body. We hardly see morkel & badrinath getting enough batting, when they already have batsmen who are not getting any chance to bat i wonder why is it not a good idea to include bollinger and hilfenaus?.I think they effectively using only 9 players remaining 2 players they are in the team only to do fielding, I wonder how CSK team management dint give a thought on this.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    What CSK lacks at this moment is a strike bowler like Morne Morkel/Dale Steyn/Malinga, they had Bollinger doing this job in their last seasons, however now he is not in a great form. In this IPL season, CSK is winning only because of their batting and whenever the batsmens fails to score a competitive total, they fail, however this was not the case last season where they made suprises even with the bowling. Having said that, CSK will definitely bounce back in this season itself, Kulasekara could do a decent job, though cannot replace Bollinger of last season, having Jadeja is another advantage, CSK has got this season. If Murali Vijay could regain his form, then CSK will become invincible even in this season. CSK had been experimenting all their different permutations and combinations so far, the time has come to make it work what they have learnt form their experimentations like Bravo should never be allowed to bowl power play overs and Saha, Yo Majesh are not fit in playing 11.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    In Harsha Bhogle's articles, I find more questions than answers. Is it an effect of being the host for espn-star putting questions to the likes of Gavaskar ? Harsha, we need your opinion not your doubts and questions. :) You have very good analytical skills and we would like you to stand by what you say rather than asking questions to the audience. :)

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | May 6, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    I define dhoni captaincy to one Word. LUCK. He is a luckiest person. CSK team is full of no bodies from beginning yet they won. Only one reason , LUCK. Lots of team had great T20 players , still they could n't for some reason or another. CSK had no planning , they just damn lucky. CSK had bunch of all rounders who can field well. May be you can give them brainy team when it comes to crunch time they make best decision. They really don't have talent even from the b first IPL. What they had is luck of Dhoni and his aura. His luck deserts him when his ego grow too much. At present he is not a good captain.

  • POSTED BY csowmi7 on | May 6, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    I dont think it is right to compare the csk side with Barca and MU. I mean the team itself is only 5 years old. But Csk are definitely the best t20 side in the world. 2 ipl championships and a champions league trophy in 5 years is definitely an achievement. Perhaps if in the next 5-10 years chennai can be be more consistent the comparison could hold good.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    @Goutham Kannan.. why would i be jealous of csk?? lol.. i am not a cricketer.. And talking about Gambhir he just didn't perform in the tests that too in 1 series.. See the overseas records of the indian batsmen for the last 4 years.. Gambhir leads the charts and not the dravids and tendulkars... And the Ashwin thing- everyone knows why Ashwin(even though he is a 3rd grade bowler) is in the team...And you are compaaring Ashwin with Sehwag?? Dude Ashwin has played 6 tests in all whereas viry has played 100 tests...

  • POSTED BY balajireddy on | May 6, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    The IPL has been created in the way that gully cricket is played by 7 year olds. I have the bat, so I will dictate who plays in my team. Else I go home. thats the reason why teams like chennai and mumbai have the better players and when newer teams with deeper pockets were inducted, they were not allowed to get a shot at bidding for all players. the chennai owners make the rules of the ipl, so obviously it should show in their results. it would be a pathetic team if it didnt, but its no great team, barely a good one. And no reason to compare with Barca at all.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Great article by Harsha Bhogle, But comparing CSK with Barca is an over statement, CSK doesn't deserve that status. The teams like Barca and Manu have been champions in the football for years n IPL is just 5 years old, i guess it is too early for a comparison. @Arpit Agarwal. One think i can say is, u r jealous of csk getting the limelight and u fear their success. There is no point accusing Ashwin or Srikanth or srinivasan for India's failure in recent games. why don't blame on sehwag or gambir who didn't do justice in the recent overseas tours, we never had good start in d series v lost. And now sehwag n gambir r topping charts . I smell something else is goin on.

  • POSTED BY ansram on | May 5, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    T20 is half luck. CSK is just out of luck this year. It needs little analysis. The shorter the formats you make, more the luck factor come into play. One over can change an IPL game. Good teams can easily loose in 20 over games.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Yes.. Dhoni needs a break and have some good mental abd physical relaxation as he has been playing continously in fact when India returned from england Tour when other seniors took rest he kept playing for India.. His need for rest reflects in his recent speech on retiring from tests soon.. But he will see that CSK enters Play offs for sure and give his best shot to retain the Trophy.. As a real Leader He did develop a good leader in the form of Gambhir and i hope during Dhoni`s absence gauti maintains the record dhoni developed in ODIs for India..Besides i dont think there is much to worry about CSK`s chances in this IPL as they have proved all along that on a given day they have players who will rise to the occasion..

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    @Foo_bar that is what i am saying mate... the venues for knockouts aren't decided by the previous season's record but by the bcci president's choice... you should read the whole convo to get a better idea...

  • POSTED BY young_ind on | May 5, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    The problem starts with the bloody 1983 WC win. Srikkanth keeps repeating that allrounders were the reason because of the depth.(that is a shallow view anyway!) The CSK management has always been big on allrounders to the detriment of bowling, especially fast bowling. The basics of the game is score runs and take wickets. While the shorter formats are labelled as a batsman's game,Strong attacks have shut down opposition in the shorter formats as well. CSk's strength has been the matchwinning performances of Hayden,Vijay,Raina,Hussey backed up by dhoni,bollinger and ashwin at various times.But fools of the CSK management will keep believing in the gospel of allrounders . The only crucial contribution from morkel in the playoffs was the vettori over vs RCB last year. Morkel and bravo may win here and there. but they won't win us the IPL. The failure of vijay and raina has been the central reason.Bowlers not allroudners are needed!

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 5, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    of course, Hilfenhaus who is excellent with the new ball and not only contributes with his pace but also with his prodigious swing. The third bowler can be medium-pacer Mahesh or left-arm spinner Jakati based on the conditions of the wicket on the day of the particular match. I believe this team combination might return CSK to winning ways. A solid top order comprising of du Plessis, Vijay and M Hussey can build the foundation of the innings, A Morkel and Jadeja can be tossed up and down the order as pinch-hitters based on the match situation; or Badrinath can be used to steady the ship in the event of a batting collapse. Dhoni and Raina can play more agressively and finish the innings on a high. Hilfenhaus can attack with the new ball, Ashwin must look to pick up wickets and the third bowler must also contribute. A Morkel can be used as the second fast bowler and Raina tidy offspin can also come in handy. Let's see what CSK can do in this crucial phase of the tournament.

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 5, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Bollinger is not in good form and Kulasekara is not a great bowler. CSK should find a way to include M Hussey in the lineup. Vijay looks ok in his comeback and he should be persisted with for at least the next two matches. du Plessis cannot possibly be dropped because he is CSK's best batsman of this season by a large margin. Maybe M Hussey could come in at No. 3 with Dhoni at No. 4 and Raina at No. 5. Dhoni and Raina are good finishers and will perform better in these positions. Badrinath, Jadeja and A Morkel / Bravo (one must be dropped to make way for M Hussey) can be used as floaters. The strike bowlers can be Ashwin, who must really start performing well ASAP and of course, Hil

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 5, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    CSK has way too many all-rounders. Even in T20 cricket, a team needs at least four specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers. The all-rounders are useful, no doubt about that, but when a team is struggling in the basics of batting and bowling, they can't do much. Vijay, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin and Bollinger are all out of form, which is scary for CSK because they are the main players. A Morkel and Bravo have not been utilized properly, which is why they have so far been ineffective in IPL 5. du Plessis is in good touch, which is a good sign for CSK. Their bowling attack will be strengthened by the addiction of Hilfenhaus. CSK are missing a genuine new-ball fast bowler as Bollinger is in

  • POSTED BY Khirubagaran on | May 5, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Beautiful article Harsha. Hope the message reaches Dhoni on time to reload his fuel and play positive cricket.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | May 5, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    There are no " Great" teams in T20, there are only lottery winners. Winning the lottery every year is obviously a very unlikely event.

  • POSTED BY Foo_Bar on | May 5, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    @Arpit Agrawal for the same reason the two teams didn't host any other match that year. Jaipur : the whole season was hosted in SA (because of Indian elections). Hyederabad : didn't host a single game that season because of the Telangana issue (btw you know who hosted the final that year Mumbai? And why? because the then BCCI president is from Mumbai. It didn't go to the other finalist or even semi finalist)

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @sweetspot @trakkan.. oh really?? then how come jaipur and hyderabad have never hosted any of the play-offs?? And dear Mr. trakkan thats where the point lies.. these guys perform in the ipl and rest in the indian team solely on that performance andMr. srikkant and Srinivasan...

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | May 5, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    They will still lmake the semi's.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Dhoni is running out of fuel. He needs a break. Previously in pressure cooker situations Dhoni was COOL now he is just FATIGUED. That is why CSK is not performing as well as they should. Coincidentally so is INDIA. !

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | May 5, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Everybody gets so complicated and analytical about CSK, except the team! Thank God! The pitch this year is different from what CSK is used to, so it is hard to hit in the second half of the innings - something CSK batsmen have been very good at doing. This same team made 194 against DC and chased down 205 against RCB but on different strips, one of them in AP. CSK have always been slow starters and know when to pick up.

    @ correctcall - you just made a wrong call. The venue of the finals and the semis (now called play-offs) is decided by who won last year. It is not decided by Mr. Srinivasan or anybody else close to CSK. Same for Arpit Agarwal. This system has been in place since the first IPL.

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 5, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    @Arpit, Correctall - How is that no one questioned about 2008, 2010 finals(including semis) held in Mumbai? Atleast CSK have won IPL so they are hosting it. Merely protesting and throwing tantrums because a team is winning is due to defeatist mentality. In the 1st 3 years it was Delhi, KXIP that had highest number of star players but they never achieved anything. KKR survived due to hype and they never entered lats 4 in 3 years. CSK and RR were the only one to play to their potential. Raina, Ashwin may not have great international records but they are among the best in IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    @correctcall the other owners have been protesting against csk for 4 years now dude but who is there to listen?? Srinivasan is the man who will finally go through their complaints since he is the chairman of IPL governing council and President of BCCI as well...

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    CSK are paying for taking victory for granted with some overrated players like raina(the worst batsman to play for India- see his international stats), Ashwin(The worst ever bowler- a t20I avg of over 50 and a test avg of 40) and Jadeja(by far the worst layer to ever play for India)... If India wants to win the T-20 World cup then Ashwin and Jadeja should be dropped(whch is never going to happen under the present selectors) and dhoni should take a long break of either 2-3 months from paying or 6 months fro captaincy and see how the team fares under Gauti..

  • POSTED BY correctcall on | May 5, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Conscience may be strangling CSK in that they know their boss has ensured the IPL final will be played on their home ground with a wicket made to Dhoni's orders. How can this not be a conflict of interest and why do other IPL owners allow it to happen? Your comments Harsha would enlighten many interested IPL watchers.

  • POSTED BY Paddle_Sweep on | May 5, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    I don't get the point. How can a team be a great team within 4 years? If they had absolutely dominated the league in the last 4 years then I could agree with what you say? But this a lousy article. Incorrect comparision and incorrect conclusion.

  • POSTED BY Trakkan on | May 5, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    I dont thin Barcelona and CSK are compared here. This article is just reflecting top achievers syndrome where a loss makes headlines and win takes back seat. CSK are good when there is pressure and this is the reason why they play better cricket in later stage and oversmart rivals from play offs onwards. CSK are one team that play as a unit and its the only team whose owner doesn't come to every match and show their grim face. It could be a reason for their success. Its still long way to go but one should admit that other teams have improved and become more smarter.

  • POSTED BY muski on | May 5, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    @Phani- Funny to see that you compare the form in ODI and Test Cricket to the T20 Tamasha. They are entirely different cricketing worlds my friend. What Harsha is saying is akin to Dhirubhai starting the business, Anil and Mukesh taking it forward and who knows what their next generation is going to do- its a 50-50 chance of making or breaking it. Same with Mallya. Does anybody see the passion that VJM had when he was 25 in his son Sidhharth?

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | May 4, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    Why is it that Bhogle continually compares cricket with football?Cricket is a seperate game built around completely different ethics.Bhogle should just become a football commentator.The reason CSK struggles is that they do not really have any Indian batsmen of any quality.Most struggle with the short ball even in India & hate any movement.

  • POSTED BY Muhtasim13 on | May 4, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    @ G.Sri, its only the 5th season of the IPL while the La Liga & the EPL have been running for decades. I doubt whether the IPL can even make it past 10 years

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | May 4, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    "Often Great Team are Blinded by success" ? Great Team's feed of Success, they dont run helter skelter, Instead they put their head down, stay the course and finish the Task. Task for CSK is to reach Semifinal.....we will know in next two weeks.

    Oh BTW... when did CSK win all games convincingly or qualify convincingly in previous editions, only in last edition they remained unbeaten in chepauk.

    And about accepting Reputation...lets talk about Tendulkar, your blue eyed boy. How many times he was supposed to be dropped and simply his reputation carried him into Indian Team, killing many young talents?

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    This article coming in the middle of IPL does not make sense to me. Chennai are back to #4 now and may well go on to qualify for the play offs. T20 is most unpredictable and teams often struggle in different stages. A couple of years back CSK were not going to qualify till dhoni turned it aroudn for them by hitting 32 off 2 overs and they won. So wait and watch, there can be a Gayle, AB, Sehwag, but there is one and only Dhonii, the real super king. I am sure Dhoni has everything figured out in his head, and other people can only speculate, "wonder" before and then praise him at the end after he does his trick.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 4, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    It is ok that they're struggling, even though i am a Chennai fan, this makes IPL much more open than the football lousy romp. Honestly, who cares for the two horse race in La Liga and bunch of mediocre teams fighting in EPL. IPL is a lot more interesting than either of those 2 jokes.

  • POSTED BY PhaniBhaskar24 on | May 4, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    Mr.Harsha, if younger generation with new ideas, vibration is a point here, fatigue is playing a point a here, how about Kohli. The in form batsmen, who has done wonders recently ( the starting point according to you) should make to the second phase ( building upon the initial success- Second Generation Business People). But that was not happening....i strongly feel, CSK disaster show this time is may be because of team composition. Too many batsmen given a try....bowlers are not. This just shows team is low in confidence

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    A very MBA-like article by Harsha .. Couldn't have come better from anybody else except for him !

  • POSTED BY venkat82p on | May 4, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    I think they are not getting the right team, they are too much concerned about batting, they dont have a bowler who can bowl confidently in 19th or 20th over, that is where bollinger used to rescue chennai, if they dont include bolinger in high profile games they are not going to make this years IPL, he is the key man who can bowl well under pressure rather than bowling without pressure, there are plenty of batting options available and all teams have a pretty good batting what will make a team success in IPL is bowling, when i say bowling it is bowling under pressure, CSK had that two bowlers ashwin and bolinger who would bowl so beautifully under pressure they dont give anything underpressure, but now they have dropped bolinger for no reason.

  • POSTED BY ultrasnow on | May 4, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Cricket is religion and people like doni, tendlya are gods. Please don't compare cricket to other alien religions (Football) and false gods (Messi etc) :P

  • POSTED BY MAK123 on | May 4, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    The first time, no one seriously believed that it would take the title cent percent; the second time, people thought, well, may be this time they would not make it to the trophy; the thrid year, when everyone expected them to lift it well and truly, they went nowhere. Hope you get the drift, Harsha :-)

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    I think they need to assess their bowling ....they lack the wicket taking bowlers. so I believe they should make way for Bollinger even if it means resting Huss!! well if Dhoni alone wants to play maximum overs without taking any risk then what's the need of playing 7 batters?

  • POSTED BY Allan716 on | May 4, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    MSD has achieved a lot #1 Test Team, World Champions - OD I and T20, IPL Champs twice, Champions League and IPL runners up twice. So what else is there to achieve. It is great to say that the hunger should continue, however, in this day of constant analysis and monitoring it is very difficult to own and sustain uniqueness over a long period of time. The amount of cricket played is definitely tiring him out and the need to inject new and fresh ideas is clearly taking its toll on him. MSD needs to bat positively and for this he needs to be at #4 in the T20s and #5 in the ODIs. He needs to bat aggresively and take charge of the game rather than tire the opposition out and go for the kill. People have figured this strategy out and he needs a fresh one.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    MS is playing IPL as a ODI match .... he plays a shots a very fewer only .... csk s losing wicket early ... in all losing matches they have a very low total..they can win in upcoming matches .. All the best for them for upcoming matches ...

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    CSK is not the power it used to be. All the players except Du are badly out of form. He is the only one in the top 10 of wicket takers or run getters. This year all the teams have got strengthened (except Deccan Chargers) by adding better players in this years auction or otherwise but CSK choose only Jadeja who is neither a batman nor a bowler of T20 variety. Now he has started dropping catches too. That one match he clicked is more an aberration. Though a strong CSK fan I dont fancy them winning the IPL.Even making the semis is going to be very tough unless many of the players strike form at the same time. Reputation is not strangling them, only that the team has got weaker. A small check on the additions of other teams this year will reveal the truth.Hoping for a miracle change in fortunes.

  • POSTED BY MCG26.12.2011 on | May 4, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    With due respect, the bona fide legacy of Barcelona and the so called "legacy" of CSK cant be compared...It is an insult...IPL is a lousy romp which doesn't deserve the analysis that is done... less said about the CSK....

  • POSTED BY atulpatil on | May 4, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    well said Mr.Boghle, CSK need to get back to it previous aggressive mode of play

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Mr. Bhogle, your analysis about football simply shows that you don't know anything about it. Arsenal have always been a force to reckon with and mind you, they would never be satisfied with a second place finish. Regarding CSK, I am again saying that Dhoni is a captain who totally depends on luck and this "lady luck" has simply deserted him. Playing a T20 innings with a strike rate of 100 is not helping him much and his adamant nature of sticking with the most overhyped player in Indian history 'Ravindra Jadeja' is not taking them anywhere.

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | May 4, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    Failed so far because 1) Vijay and Raina failed to get a descent score 2)Dhoni plays 2020 as a 50 over game. 3) Albie and Bravo not getting enough chances to bat as Indian premier league 4) Worst of all they try to bring in all batters (Faf, Hussey, Albie, Bravo) leaving Bollinger/Kuleskara. Jadeja is a big flop in this season or not utilized properly. Cannot understand why they pile up batting when Mr. Dhoni itself sufficient to bat all the overs 34(30 balls)

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    I don't think CSK's reputation is strangling them.Because,Unlike other Teams they don't have Big Players to finish off the Game.It's always a Team Work.Every year they enter as an Ordinary Team and Start off slowly and finish it off in a Winning Spree.CSK lead by a greatest Indian Skipper MSD...He is Perfect in doing Right things in Right Time.One or Two Bad loses doesn't affect much.Once Vijay,Raina & Ashwin gets into Form they're just Unstoppable.CSK's Bowling department is very weak this year....Bollinger is very inconsistent even Ashwin.I think they should opt for Hilfenhaus into playing 11 and remove Bollinger.Wish CSK wins the Rest 6 Games and Show what they are :)

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | May 4, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    CSK comparing to Barcelona? WTH is wrong with Harsha Dogle?

  • POSTED BY yadavrohit on | May 4, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    i dont think CSK is the team who has a great fear of losing. they are slow starters as we all know. if we take the table of any IPL , we will find that CSK was never in the top the table. in IPL 3 , they went through the semifinal with the help of net run rate and won the title.... as far as team composition is concerned i think there r too many finishers which caused them... dhoni ,jadeja, bravo, morkel so they are confused abt their roles..and after hussey arrival , there is no place of foreign pacer which would cause them in some stage...

  • POSTED BY AbhijeetC on | May 4, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Hi, Good article Harsha, I always draw some similarities between CSK and India....both are predominantly batting teams with some good spinners and one fast bowler. Both teams are captained by same person....and hence they both showed similar qualities. Like Indian team lost it's form after 2011 world cup, CSK lost its form this year. And The reasons are same too....loss of batting form, Batsman are not scoring runs anymore, bowlers are not good enough to defend targets. I think it is something to do with Dhoni's captaincy form as well. to start with he can not win tosses, his decisions are going wrong. He should take a break, he should take his mind off from cricket for 3/4 months....he should do something to rejuvenate himself and you will see the change in CSK and India.....I supported CSK for 4 years but unlike international cricket I have many options in IPL...so with CSK struggling, I now started to support RR. and partially because of Dravid..:)

  • POSTED BY Keshav21 on | May 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    @androyuvi: CSK fans are banking on their history of doing bad at initial stage and going good at final stage. FYI: this is not a same team, their bowling is weaker than ever before. I feel they will end up in last but one or last in point table in this season

  • POSTED BY srinikils on | May 4, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    Dear Mr. Bhogle, Please stick to cricket because it is clear you know nothing about football. We are 'The Arsenal' and we will never celebrate a 2nd place!

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    This is clear case of a Team led by Lethargic or tired captain.Basically Dhoni needs rest which he shold have got by Skipping the IPL or may be taking rest in few matches( His Boss will not allow leaves). Dhoni,raina and other players who are constatnly playing are not doing well in this IPL.Where as Rahane , Robin etc are doing well because they are not tired.

  • POSTED BY TRBh on | May 4, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    To be fair, CSK has never been a great consistent team in the league phase.They always lose high percentage of their first 10 matches,then somehow scramble into the final four.They have never entered the play offs comfortably.Their invincibility starts only when they enter the Play offs.We still have time.lets wait n watch

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Next time Mr. Harsh Boghle will compare Messi with Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Mumbai is hardly an outstanding team even on paper. They are actually performing way above their abilities currently. I am surprised to see them in the top 4 at this stage. All credit to their bowling and fielding. Their batting power is a huge cause for concern. No way are they ending up as champions this year.

  • POSTED BY Zen21 on | May 4, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Champions setback is temporary and will bounce back to win the trophy

  • POSTED BY androyuvi on | May 4, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @everyone: guys, talk whatever you want, CSK will get into playoffs., and from then CSK will be very different and they still have a pretty good scope for the cup.. CSK's initial losses are because of the lack of knowledge about the pitch and opener vijay failed to give a solid start.. but now after knowing about the pitches and with some good players they could pull it off.. Agreed CSK has no match winners, like gayle or AB or Pietersen.. but they never had such guys even when they won the last editions.. they always excelled as a team and we all are about the witness that again.. Am not saying CSK will win for sure, but can still win the trophy. If dhoni takes CSK home, then its a good news for india too.. he will come back with his winning ways..

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | May 4, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Posted by  Shareef Sehuribas on (May 04 2012, 04:50 AM GMT),First of all I don't support any ipl teams.But you are wrong in assessment,every team plays in their home conditions have some advantage like KKR produces slow wickets which is their strength and in IPL season 1 ,Rajasthan royals used to have slow wickets.Traditionally chennai and Kolkata pitches are slow wickets( even in test cricket).Regarding CSK winning record,they are the only team who reached semifinal in all the IPL season.They won IPL 2010 final in Mumbai against Mumbai Indians.They won champions league in south Africa.Every team plays equal amount of matches in home and away.Among all ,CSK who are consistent and had more success among others in all the conditions and that's the only reason they won in Mumbai and south Africa too.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    its just a bad phase for csk,, nothing else,,, need just one solid win to breakfree and also bad form of players like, raina and kohli is a big reason for team not doing well....

    key players are not clicking..

    but i dont think,, csk is strangled by the reputation

  • POSTED BY AjitNarayan on | May 4, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    How can some people say X team does not deserve a spot in the semis? If the team has enough points, it means they are better than the five teams and they have won more matches. It's as simple as that. Crazy logic some people have. No team deserves a spot yet. What if Delhi lose the next six and DC win their rest? Would you say DC deserve a spot because they had a bad start and recovered? Or would you say DD don't deserve a spot despite their strong start?

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | May 4, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    CSK...GREAT TEAM? Never. Average players in a very average league(Vijay, Bravo, Morkel, Raina, Badri-no one will walk into an international XI) who have prospered on slow, sluggish pitches are now finding it difficult once there has been some life and carry on the pitch. Kudos to the Chepauk curator for exposing these overpaid stars.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | May 4, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    DHONI 'S LUCK HAS GONE EVEN IN IPL .

  • POSTED BY raj60 on | May 4, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    It's not CSK only but India as well as the captain is one and the same. Whether one likes it or not the fire in MSD's belly is gone. It extinguished after IPL4 and both India and CSK were never the same again. India's glory reached its peak in WC2011 and CSK in IPL4 and after that it's all downhill. I read an article last year in which the author told Dhoni to quit as captain and continue as a player and i also hoped that he would do the same. We should all realise that when we hit our peak capability at some point in our life then it's the time to move away. For some it comes early in life and for some it comes late and for MSD it did happen a bit early in his cricketing carrier. He had achieved everything a captain could aspire for in T20, ODI & No1 status in Test cricket. Also unlike an Aussie or an American we tend to slack of much quicker once we achieve something and don't bring the same intensity to the field and that is true for MSD also. Lets realise that and get someone else.

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | May 4, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Most of the games are very close, which is great, but then a couple of mishits turn you from being losers into champions, in the medias eyes. It seems to be a good comp., pity it's not on free to air here in Oz.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | May 4, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    wow slow down man , are you comparing the WI , manchester united and barcelona ,arguably 3 of the greatest teams in their sports to CSK of IPL? i have always found you refreshing and a good observer of the game but this is a bit too much..am sure csk is a good t20 team and they will come back strongly...but please refrain from making such comparisons, i find it a bit shocking as a sports lover

  • POSTED BY vjerome on | May 4, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    CSK and Barca being compared as the same class...really?

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | May 4, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Yes it is.. Reputation increases the expectation and it is really troubling them most.. To be fair, CSK really look jaded this time.. Till IPL-3, they would be having two overseas bowlers in Murali and Bollinger or any other one and two overseas batsmen in Morkel and Hayden/Hussey.. But the recent composition of having allrounders is stuttering their batting lineup.. Bravo, Morkel and Jadeja is robbing of other's batting chances.. Plus, drop in form of Bollinger and Lack of wickets from Ashwin further dented it.. They need to drop Hussey and bring in Hilfy to strengthen the bowling more.. Bravo and Morkel always can support but asking them to head the attack is a bit too much.. Bring in Bollinger or Kula or Hilfy and stregthen the bowling more..

  • POSTED BY leleraja on | May 4, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    My team - visibly tired and depleted, is no longer 'super' now - merely Chennai Kings!

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    This is a great lesson for any business as well. Well said.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    With 6 more games to go, we never know! CSK always are slow starters and they scramble to get into the last 4. But once into the semifinals, they become a totally new team. A Winning Champion Team! Keeping fingers Crossed!

  • POSTED BY riyazquest on | May 4, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Comparing CSK to Man Utd and Barca. Joke of the year. The matches won by CSK this year which are very less are by pure fortune. Virat bowling 19 over #biggestjokeofipl'12 and 2 needed of last ball against RR and dhoni gets a full toss on pads. CSK do not deserve a spot in playoffs. DD,RR,MI,KKR for me

  • POSTED BY kharidra on | May 4, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    The teams are all playing very close games. The winner and loser gap is not what point table suggests. One stroke is what separates winner and loser. In the earlier years the margin was bit more. Then the gap between teams was visible.

  • POSTED BY gururajan23 on | May 4, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    I dont agree with Barca and CSK comparison - Barca finishing second is a defeat since it is not the strongest league in the world. Barca and Real spends 3 times more money than other teams and its always a 2 way battle unlike more equal EPL, Serie A. Barca season went bad only in the last week - they lost 3 crucial game in a week and were tired only that week but they are still the greatest team in the world. Pep resigned because he is tired not because of the loss. CSK has dominated the league but were let down by poor tactics and out of form batsmen. I do agree with the fear of failure gripping them and they let the next player to do the job rather than the current one - like letting Morkel and Bravo to finish the game against PW. their selection is not good either - having said it, they have time to turn around and i hope it starts from today.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    msd always had fun in last ball finishes and last minute twists to add color to ipl....wish to see csk in playoffs becoz they dont give up so easily....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    msd always had fun in last ball finishes and last minute twists to add color to ipl....wish to see csk in playoffs becoz they dont give up so easily....

  • POSTED BY gururajan23 on | May 4, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    I dont agree with Barca and CSK comparison - Barca finishing second is a defeat since it is not the strongest league in the world. Barca and Real spends 3 times more money than other teams and its always a 2 way battle unlike more equal EPL, Serie A. Barca season went bad only in the last week - they lost 3 crucial game in a week and were tired only that week but they are still the greatest team in the world. Pep resigned because he is tired not because of the loss. CSK has dominated the league but were let down by poor tactics and out of form batsmen. I do agree with the fear of failure gripping them and they let the next player to do the job rather than the current one - like letting Morkel and Bravo to finish the game against PW. their selection is not good either - having said it, they have time to turn around and i hope it starts from today.

  • POSTED BY kharidra on | May 4, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    The teams are all playing very close games. The winner and loser gap is not what point table suggests. One stroke is what separates winner and loser. In the earlier years the margin was bit more. Then the gap between teams was visible.

  • POSTED BY riyazquest on | May 4, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Comparing CSK to Man Utd and Barca. Joke of the year. The matches won by CSK this year which are very less are by pure fortune. Virat bowling 19 over #biggestjokeofipl'12 and 2 needed of last ball against RR and dhoni gets a full toss on pads. CSK do not deserve a spot in playoffs. DD,RR,MI,KKR for me

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    With 6 more games to go, we never know! CSK always are slow starters and they scramble to get into the last 4. But once into the semifinals, they become a totally new team. A Winning Champion Team! Keeping fingers Crossed!

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    This is a great lesson for any business as well. Well said.

  • POSTED BY leleraja on | May 4, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    My team - visibly tired and depleted, is no longer 'super' now - merely Chennai Kings!

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | May 4, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Yes it is.. Reputation increases the expectation and it is really troubling them most.. To be fair, CSK really look jaded this time.. Till IPL-3, they would be having two overseas bowlers in Murali and Bollinger or any other one and two overseas batsmen in Morkel and Hayden/Hussey.. But the recent composition of having allrounders is stuttering their batting lineup.. Bravo, Morkel and Jadeja is robbing of other's batting chances.. Plus, drop in form of Bollinger and Lack of wickets from Ashwin further dented it.. They need to drop Hussey and bring in Hilfy to strengthen the bowling more.. Bravo and Morkel always can support but asking them to head the attack is a bit too much.. Bring in Bollinger or Kula or Hilfy and stregthen the bowling more..

  • POSTED BY vjerome on | May 4, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    CSK and Barca being compared as the same class...really?

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | May 4, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    wow slow down man , are you comparing the WI , manchester united and barcelona ,arguably 3 of the greatest teams in their sports to CSK of IPL? i have always found you refreshing and a good observer of the game but this is a bit too much..am sure csk is a good t20 team and they will come back strongly...but please refrain from making such comparisons, i find it a bit shocking as a sports lover