Bad Boys Super Kings Looking to Make IPL History
12 months ago, the Chennai Super Kings were about to embark on an IPL series that would draw them level on three titles with Mumbai Indians.
In the eleven seasons since the IPL was formed in 2008, no side has claimed more titles than the duo with both boasting an opportunity this year of creating history.
However, as defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings look the best bet for those looking for a punt on the IPL to be the first franchise to reach four title successes.
A comprehensive 8-wicket success over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in last years final has only strengthened the sides position as the out and out star team in the short history of the Indian Premier League.
In eleven seasons of the IPL, the Super Kings have contested seven finals winning three and finishing runners up four times.
However, when you consider the Super Kings have only contested nine seasons, suddenly that becomes some record with coach Stephen Fleming has designs on making it an even 50/50 final split with a fourth title.
Controversy Reigns over the Super Kings
Former Chairman of the ICC Narayanaswami Srinivasan and de-facto owner of the Super Kings was caught up in an auction rigging scandal that involved English all-rounder Freddie Flintoff at the 2009 IPL auction.
In 2013, Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai police to do with betting on IPL matches.
He also happened to be the team principal of the Super Kings and after an investigation, the Rajasthan Royals and Super Kings were suspended from the IPL for two years missing the 2016 and 2017 tournaments.
That makes the Super Kings 2018 success all the more remarkable and one that rightly makes the team from the state capital of Tamil Nadu a viable contender in 2019.
Talented CSK Squad
One glance at Chennai’s squad for 2019 and it is not hard to see why many are backing the Super Kings to make it four titles despite only adding two names to their ranks in December’s auction.
Indian bowler Mohit Sharma returns to the side he left after the 2015 tournament after three seasons with Kings XI Punjab.
The right arm fast-medium bowler has taken 109 wickets in 110 matches in T20 competition and is a useful known edition to the squad for 2019.
The relatively unknown Ruturaj Gaikwad was also picked up in the auction. The 22-year-old has undoubted talent having scored 131 runs in five T20 matches at a strike rate of 137.89.
Last year’s hero Shane Watson is retained after blasting 117 not out in last year’s final to guide his side to success and Indian legend MS Dhoni retains the captaincy for 2019.
Despite letting Englishman Mark Wood go in November, English duo Sam Billings and David Willey continue in the side aiming to enhance their reputations even further.
Last year’s finalists Sunrisers Hyderabad may be out for revenge this year, but only a fool would bet against the Super Kings making it back to back victories even if they may not win in the popularity contests.
Roll on IPL 2019.