Chennai’s Performance in Indian T20 League
Expected Playing XI
Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ben Stokes, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (C & Wk), Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Simarjeet Singh, Mukesh Chaudhary
Key players to watch out for
Devon Conway – The New Zealand opener has proved himself to be a run-machine and repeated his heroics for Chennai last year when he got a long run in the team in the second half. His ability against spin makes him one of the players who could actually go on to be a contender for the Orange Cap later in the season.
Maheesh Theekshana -The Sri Lankan had a terrific first season and has improved as a cricketer in the following months even further. Attacking him in the powerplays could prove fatal for the opposition. On the low and slow tracks of MA Chidambaram, he can prove quite difficult to tackle for the batters.
MS Dhoni – The Chennai captain still remains the biggest draw of the league and him returning to Chennai would mean a lot of crowd support for the team. His captaincy would be crucial to the team’s chances in the tournament. Moreover, with the impact player rule coming in, he might not need to about his batting much and can focus solely on captaining the team.
Chennai’s Schedule for Indian T20 League 2023
Squad Analysis of Chennai
In the mega-auction of 2022, Chennai decided to buy back most of the players who had represented them in 2021 and won the trophy. However, the plan didn’t work out well as they finished a lowly ninth. Another ploy that failed for the franchise was making Jadeja the captain, a decision they had to take back and put MS Dhoni in charge again. When Dhoni took charge, it seemed that there wasn’t too much that was wrong with the squad and with the inclusion of Ben Stokes, it only looks stronger.
Strengths – Chennai has always trusted experience and that trust has paid off on most occasions. This time too, they will field an XI rich in experience and made of cricketers who know how to win clutch moments. Moreover, the addition of Ben Stokes increases the presence of all-rounders in the side which already has some world-class all-rounders in Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja. Moreover, this season will bring the team to their fortress at Chepauk where they enjoy a 70% win record. No team has enjoyed the kind of home record in the league that Chennai does and the franchise would be very happy to play on the slow tracks of Chepauk again after three years.
Weaknesses – The over-reliance on experience has also hurt the team in the past and they have had two forgettable seasons out of the last three. The season where they emerged winners, they were helped by the fact that the pandemic divided into two halves and allowed the players to rejuvenate and come back for the second half. In a long season in Indian summers, the team can suffer from injuries and key players not being able to recover quickly from them. Also, Ben Stokes will be available only for a limited period because of his England commitments and the team might find it difficult to replace him at the business end of the tournament.
Chennai Team in Indian T20 League 2023
Chennai has been one of the most consistent teams in this league since its inception. Led by one of the most charismatic captains in MS Dhoni, they have always begun the tournament as favorites. Although they couldn’t win the first two editions despite making it to the knockout stages, they made up for it by winning back to back tournaments in 2010 and 2011. The next few years saw them making it to the knockouts easily but not being able to lift the trophy. However, the team scripted one of the most remarkable comeback stories in 2018 when on their return to the league after a 2-year-ban, they lifted the trophy chasing a big total easily. They made it to the final next year as well but missed the title by a whisker as Mumbai won the match by one run. The team put up their worst show in 2020 but came back spectacularly again in 2021 to win the league. However, their last season was forgettable as they finished second last on the points table, only above Mumbai.
For the 2023 season, they made a big purchase in the auctions by snapping England’s Ben Stokes. They also added experience to their batting lineup by bringing in Ajinkya Rahane. Unfortunately for Chennai, Kyle Jamieson who seemed to be the best budget buy of the auction won’t be turning up due to injury. Despite all of this, all eyes will be locked on the team’s skipper who could be playing his final season of the league.
Chennai’s stats in Indian T20 League
- The team has made it to the final a record nine times and has finished as the winners of the tournament four times, only second after Mumbai.
- MS Dhoni who was bought by the franchise in 2008 has played the most number of matches in the league’s history.
- Dhoni also tops the charts when it comes to most matches captained in the league’s history by having led the team in more than 200 matches. He is also the only skipper with more than 100 wins as a captain in the league.
- Dwayne Bravo, who retired from the league last year after playing his last season for Chennai, holds the record for most wickets in the league’s history.
- Ruturaj Gaikwad had won the Orange Cap award for the team in 2021 when he scored 635 runs from 16 matches. He was the third Chennai batter to finish with the Orange Cap after Matthew Hayden did it 2009 and Michael Hussey did it in 2013.