Chennai Super Kings has been the most consistent franchise in IPL history. The MS Dhoni-led outfit has always believed in retaining their core. The team management has used the long-term approach to build their team, and this strategy has helped them succeed in the tournament. MS Dhoni has captained the team to perfection, with Suresh Raina supporting him as the vice-captain.
The south Indian franchise has given many new talents to the Indian team, namely Ravichandran Ashwin, Deepak Chahar, Sudeep Tyagi, Manpreet Gony, and several others. The team has also helped some veterans like Ashish Nehra regain their place in the international side. It is a common belief that a player who is under-performing for some other team becomes a match-winner when he joins CSK. Ambati Rayudu’s turnaround is the best example of it.
However, here is a unique playing XI featuring some unlucky talents who could not realize their full potential while playing for the 3-time IPL winners.
Openers – Parthiv Patel and Wriddhiman Saha
The presence of MS Dhoni in the side did not allow Parthiv Patel and Wriddhiman Saha to regularly showcase their talent. Patel stayed with the team from 2008 to 2010 and could only score 516 runs in 26 innings at a below-par strike rate of 102.79. However, after leaving CSK, his numbers have improved a lot. The same happened with Wriddhiman Saha. The right-handed batsman could aggregate 144 runs in the 14 games he donned the yellow jersey. After moving to Kings XI Punjab, he scored an unbelievable century in the IPL final.
Middle-order – Vijay Shankar, Sam Billings, and George Bailey
Very few fans may remember that Vijay Shankar was once a part of Chennai Super Kings. The ‘3D Player’ received very few opportunities to show his talent, and his failures led to his exit from the team. Shankar later performed better for Delhi and Hyderabad. Sam Billings was a match-winner for Delhi, but his IPL career dwindled after he moved to Chennai. Apart from one match-winning fifty, there was nothing much that the Englishman could boast of his performance. George Bailey changed the fortunes of Kings XI Punjab and guided them to their first IPL final in 2014. Before playing for KXIP, Bailey was a part of Chennai, and he had scored just 63 runs in four matches.
All-rounders – Andrew Flintoff and Chris Morris
Chennai Super Kings had offered a massive contract to Andrew Flintoff in IPL 2009. As the tournament was in South Africa, the fans had high hopes from the Englishman. Unfortunately, he could score only 62 runs and scalp two wickets in the entire season. He never came back to the IPL. Chris Morris was the MVP of Delhi Daredevils in the past few seasons. The South African was a part of CSK once, but he could never realize his full potential as an all-rounder.
Bowlers – Ankit Rajpoot, Karn Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, and Samuel Badree
Ankit Rajpoot had grabbed everyone’s attention with his exploits for Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 season. His five-wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad stunned the fans. Before playing for Punjab, Rajpoot was a part of CSK. He got to play only two matches, where he took a single wicket. Karn Sharma has been the lucky charm of franchises, and his luck helped CSK win the title in 2018. However, his performances have not been up to the mark as Sharma scalped only five wickets in seven games over two seasons.
A majority of the Indian fans billed Ishwar Pandey as the future of India’s pace bowling attack. However, when he became a part of CSK, he seemingly succumbed under the pressure as he managed to take only 17 wickets in 23 games at a below-par strike rate of 25.76. The last name in this team is the leg-spinner from West Indies, Samuel Badree. The right-arm leg-spinner has been one of the best spin bowlers in T20 cricket history. However, when he played for CSK, he could only dismiss two batsmen in four matches.