Chennai Super Kings (CSK) crowned their triumphant return to the IPL fold by winning the IPL 2018 season. They defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 8 wickets in the finals of the tournament in Mumbai on May 27.
With this, CSK won the title for the third time, tying them with MI’s record title haul, and it was their first title after their twin wins in 2010 and 2011. MS Dhoni returned to the CSK fold and led them to the championship again after a wait of 7 years.
CSK proved their detractors right after they were criticized for buying players over the age of 30 and forming a team of ‘oldies’. But MS Dhoni’s brilliant man management saw these players playing to their best of abilities, which was seen in the finals, as Shane Watson played with an injury in the finals to score a blistering century and won the trophy for the team.
One of the most important reasons for CSK’s success was the return of MS Dhoni, the power hitter. He scored his runs at an amazing rate and the world’s best finisher, who looked a pale shadow of his former self in the recent few international matches, was back hitting those big sixes at an alarming rate.
Young bowlers like Lungi Ngidi and Shardul Thakur brilliantly complimented the experience of Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, and Harbhajan Singh to give MS Dhoni options to play around with according to situations.
In all, it was a team effort by the Chennai Super Kings that led them to their third IPL title in IPL 2018.
Team COC looks at the performance of the CSK team and presents the player ratings for IPL 2018
(All stats updated till May 27, 2018)
MS DHONI 10/10
MS Dhoni was written off as a finisher before the start of IPL and the noises for his exclusion from T20 team became deafening. However, Dhoni conjured up all the willpower and we saw the MS Dhoni of old, who could muscle sixes at will.
He scored 455 runs in 16 matches with a strike rate of 150.66 and hit 30 sixes and 24 fours with 3 fifties and a highest score of 79*. He led exceptionally well and it was amazing to see him back at the helm of a team and leading them to glory.
AMBATI RAYUDU 10/10
Ambati Rayudu was bought by the CSK team in the IPL 2018 auction, a move that was criticized a lot by the experts and analysts. On top of it, he was given the responsibility of opening the innings and responded brilliantly with 602 runs at a strike rate of 149.75 and a century (100*) to boot for. Rayudu also batted at his preferred position of no.4 and excelled there as well.
SHANE WATSON 10/10
Shane Watson was bought by CSK for INR 4 cr and said that it was lucky for him that he got a bid in the auction. Watson was given his favorite position of opening the innings and he scored two centuries in the tournament along with 555 runs with 35 sixes and 44 fours. He also scored his runs at a strike rate of 154.59.
SURESH RAINA 8/10
Suresh Raina hit 445 runs in IPL 2018, making him the only batsman to score over 300 runs in every season of the IPL. He scored his runs 132.44 strike rate and played many important innings and had the best score of 75*.
DWAYNE BRAVO 6/10
Dwayne Bravo was elated to be back with Chennai Super Kings after missing last year’s IPL due to injury. Bravo showed his worth, as he single-handedly took CSK to victory by 1 run in the opening match of IPL 2018 against MI. From then on, Bravo kept contributing with both bat and ball and even took some good catches. He made 141 runs and took 14 wickets in the tournament.
FAF du PLESSIS 5/10
Faf du Plessis struggled to get going in each of the 6 matches he played but immortalized himself when he took CSK into the finals of the tournament when made 67* against SRH in the first qualifier. Du Plessis scored 162 runs at a strike rate of 125.58 in the IPL 11.
RAVINDRA JADEJA 6/10
Ravindra Jadeja picked 11 wickets in 16 matches and most of those came at very important times. His best bowling was 3/18. He also scored 89 runs in 10 innings he played.
DEEPAK CHAHAR 7/10
Deepak Chahar was made the main strike bowler by MS Dhoni. He swung and seamed the ball at the start of the innings and Dhoni utilized his four overs in the first 10 overs itself. Chahar gave him wickets at the top and kept the scoring to the minimum. 10 wickets in 16 matches at an economy of 7.28 with a best of 3/15 were figures conjured up by Chahar in IPL 2018 for CSK.
SAM BILLINGS 3/10
Sam Billings’ played a match-winning knock for CSK against KKR in the only match CSK played in Chennai in IPL 2018. Overall, he made 108 runs in 8 innings he played with a best of 56 in IPL 2018 and will look forward to more contribution in next edition of IPL if given a chance.
M VIJAY 0/10
There was a time when M Vijay was an important part of the CSK setup in IPL. But his return to this home franchise was a flop as he played just one game scoring 12 runs and struggled to get fit due to his wrist injury not healing in time.
HARBHAJAN SINGH 3/10
Harbhajan Singh picked 7 wickets in 13 matches, after moving from MI to CSK. After spending 10 years with MI, they refrained from retaining him and CSK bought him. Harbhajan was used very wisely by MS Dhoni and though he didn’t pick many wickets, his experience came in handy at different times.
DHRUV SHOREY 1/10
Delhi batsman Dhruv Shorey got to play one game for CSK and scored 8 runs.
MARK WOOD 0/10
Mark Wood played just one game before opting to go back to England in order to prepare for Pakistan Tests. In the only match he played, Wood went for 49 runs in his 4 overs without picking any wicket.
KEDAR JADHAV 3/10
Kedar Jadhav won the match for CSK in MI on one leg, as he had injured his hamstring during the same match and was later ruled out of the whole tournament. His 24* kick-started CSK’s winning ways in the tournament.
SHARDUL THAKUR 5/10
MS Dhoni showed a lot of faith in Shardul Thakur and he repaid the faith by picking 16 wickets in 13 matches with a best of 2/18 at an economy of 9.23. With the bat, his best innings came in the first qualifier, when he struck 3 fours in his 15* to help Du Plessis win the match and take the team into the finals.
IMRAN TAHIR 4/10
Imran Tahir played 6 matches and picked 6 wickets and had to fight for a place in the team with Karn Sharma. His economy of 9.09 and best of 2/22 was the highlight of his season for the yellow brigade.
KARN SHARMA 4/10
Karn Sharma played 6 games including the finals and picked 4 wickets with a best of 2/13. His bowling was very good as he was able to flow the stem of runs and helped CSK win its 3rd IPL title and Karn also won his 3rd IPL title in three years.
KM ASIF 1/10
KM Asif, the young and emerging fast bowler from Kerala got to make his CSK debut and played 2 matches to pick 3 wickets with a best of 2/43.
LUNGI NGIDI 8/10
Lungi Ngidi was a wildcard pick by CSK in the auction based on his performance in the Test series against India, as he was not a proven T20 bowler. But Ngidi became a strike bowler for Dhoni and picked 11 wickets in 7 matches with a best of 4/10 and economy of 6.00.
DAVID WILLEY 2/10
David Willey was brought in as a replacement player and played 3 matches to pick 2 wickets with best of 1/24. His economy of 9.50 proved to be a tad expensive for Dhoni’s liking and he replaced him with Ngidi.