After a shocking season last year, Chennai Super Kings were back at their efficient best this season. Their start was not very auspicious as they went down to Delhi Capitals but soon found their momentum by chalking up five wins on the bounce.
When the league was postponed, CSK held the second spot with 5 wins in 7 matches. Apart from this, they also had the best net run rate – it stood at +1.263 and this gives them a great chance to make it to the playoffs when the season resumes.
With the ball, Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran were the standout performers while Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaekwad formed perhaps the most consistent opening combination of the IPL. The inclusion of Moeen Ali infused a new sense of edge to the side and with the bat, the left-hander was aggressive and never allowed any momentum to slip.
And then there is presence of Ravindra Jadeja – his all-round skills singlehandedly won the side the match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and he has also taken up the mantle of the finisher in the side.
MS Dhoni might not be the same batsman, but he remains sharp as a wicket-keeper and as a captain. His bowling changes, field placements and selections have all been on point and they are a stark contrast from the performances from the previous season.
Former New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris, who has also played under Dhoni for CSK, praised the skipper for the turnaround in 2021.
Unfortunately, when the IPL 2021 was deferred mid-season, three members from CSK tested positive for COVID-19. This included coach Lakshmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey and a bus driver. The team decided to not play IPL matches till each member of the team take test for COVID-19 and the results came negative. However, BCCI decided to postpone the league.