Why are Chennai Super Kings so good?

In an exhilarating culmination of two action-packed months, the Indian Premier League reached its thrilling climax with a gripping final clash between the Chennai Super Kings and the Gujarat Titans. The Chennai Super Kings were the IPL 2023 winners beating the defending champions Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets on DLS method. These formidable teams, having dominated the points table, seemed destined to vie for the ultimate glory with their formidable lineups and astute leadership.

Under the commanding presence of Hardik Pandya, the Gujarat Titans aimed to replicate their triumphant maiden IPL title from 2022. Meanwhile, the legendary MS Dhoni once again captained the Chennai Super Kings, securing an unprecedented 10th appearance in the final.

However, the much-anticipated match faced an unforeseen hurdle when rain disrupted proceedings on the scheduled date of May 28, 2023, pushing the match to the reserve day of May 29. Unfortunately, the weather gods continued their mischievous game, unleashing rainfall during the evening. Fortunately, the skies cleared up at night, paving the way for an uninterrupted and eagerly awaited clash.

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CSK IPL 2023 winner
Photo by Icon Sport

IPL 2023 Final: Chennai Super Kings Clinch Thrilling Victory with Five-Wicket Win

In a high-octane showdown, the Gujarat Titans showcased their batting prowess, posting a formidable total of 214/4 on the scoreboard in the final of IPL 2023. However, their momentum was halted by an untimely rain interruption when the Chennai Super Kings began their chase in the second innings. After a two-hour delay, the game resumed with a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs, as per the DLS method.

The Chennai Super Kings got off to a dream start, amassing 52 runs in the powerplay and showing their intent to chase down the revised total. The Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, were desperate for breakthroughs to stem the flow of runs. In a dramatic twist, Mohit Sharma provided that breakthrough by dismissing Ambati Rayudu and the iconic MS Dhoni on consecutive deliveries towards the end of the innings. This revived the Titans' hopes of defending their total.

With just two overs remaining, the match hung in the balance, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats. The Chennai Super Kings needed 28 runs to emerge victorious, and it was Ravindra Jadeja who stepped up to the challenge. Displaying nerves of steel, Jadeja played a scintillating innings, smashing crucial boundaries and sixes to guide his team towards an enthralling victory.

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Pillars of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023

The Chennai Super Kings etched their name on the IPL trophy for the record-equalling 5th time. The Yellow Army played their 10th Final which is by far the highest by any team in the IPL. But what is the reason behind the Chennai Super Kings being so good in the IPL 2023 season? Let’s have a look.

The Opening Partnership:

Leading the charge in the Chennai Super Kings' batting lineup, Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad have emerged as key contributors throughout the season. Conway has been a standout performer, amassing an impressive tally of 672 runs in 16 innings. With a strike rate of 139.71 and an average of 52, he has showcased his ability to anchor the innings while also maintaining a brisk scoring rate.

Gaikwad, on the other hand, has been a consistent run-scorer, accumulating 590 runs at an average of 42. His attacking approach is reflected in his strike rate of 147.50, ensuring quick starts for the Super Kings. Together, Conway and Gaikwad have formed a formidable opening partnership, providing solid platforms and setting the tone for the team's success in the tournament. Their performances have been instrumental in the Chennai Super Kings' journey towards claiming their fifth IPL title, highlighting their ability to deliver under pressure and bolster the team's batting lineup.

The Emergence of Mumbai pair Rahane and Dube

Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube, the Mumbai duo had one of their best IPL seasons. Rahane, when asked about his change of approach in his batting, stated that MS Dhoni and the CSK management defined his role in the team. This clarity of thought has helped him in his batting.

Ajinkya Rahane scored 326 runs in 14 innings after sitting out the initial matches. Rahane averaged 32.60 but the most surprising thing was his strike rate. Rahane had a strike rate of 172.49 which is by far his best in the IPL. His quick fire 50 against the Mumbai Indians was one of the most memorable knocks.

Shivam Dube, on the other-hand, had his best IPL season, scoring 418 runs which included 3 half-centuries. Scoring at a strike rate of 158 with an average of 38, Dube continued the momentum given by his top order.

Allround performance of Sir Ravindra Jadeja:

After having a bad season last year, Ravindra Jadeja stepped on the IPL stage with a point to prove. The allrounder did not disappoint the fans this time. Jadeja scored 190 runs at the strike rate of 143, finishing off the innings for the Chennai Super Kings.

In the bowling, Jaddu picked up 20 wickets at an economy of a mere 7.5 RPO. He crossed the 150 wickets mark in the IPL, becoming the first all-rounder to score 2500 runs and pick 150 wickets in the IPL. Jadeja took the Yellow Army over the line with his cameo in the final.

Young bowling Lineup:

At the start of the IPL, no one would have expected the Chennai Super Kings bowling lineup to perform this well. The bowling lineup was the weak link in the CSK lineup with the likes of Akash Singh and Matheesha Pathirana playing their 1st full IPL season.

The youngsters stepped up and supported the likes of Deepak Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja. Tushar Deshpande and Matheesha Pathirana were the pick of the bowlers. Deshpande picked up 21 wickets while Pathirana chipped in with 19 wickets. The Sri Lankan was the highest wicket-taker in the last 5 overs of the IPL 2023 season.

IPL 2023 winner: CSK

Summing up the IPL 2023 winners

The Chennai Super Kings, led by the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, clinched their fifth IPL title with a remarkable five-wicket win. This victory further solidified Dhoni's status as the most successful captain in the history of the Indian Premier League. At 42 years old, Dhoni defied age and expectations, demonstrating his unmatched leadership and cricketing prowess.

Looking ahead, Dhoni revealed his plans to return for another IPL season if circumstances permit. His undying passion and commitment to the game continue to inspire fans and fellow cricketers alike. The Chennai Super Kings' extraordinary journey from finishing among the bottom two on the points table in 2022 to becoming the IPL 2023 winners exemplifies their resilience and makes them one of the greatest franchises in IPL history.

Ultimately, the credit for the Super Kings' triumph goes not only to their remarkable on-field performances but also to the exceptional leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With his unwavering determination and strategic acumen, Dhoni has etched his name in the annals of cricketing history, leaving an indelible mark on the IPL and ensuring the Chennai Super Kings' legacy as a force to be reckoned with.

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Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India