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Chennai Super Kings ride on Dhoni charisma

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL match April 8, IPL-4, IPL-4 schedule

New Delhi: When Chennai Super Kings picked their team in the 2008 auctions, it was as if they were plucking flowers from a garden in full bloom. Cut to 2011, and they will have a World Cup Champion, Champions League Champion and IPL Champion leading them into the fourth season of the Indian Premier League.
In 2008, they picked up contemporary stars like Dhoni, Mike Hussey, Matthew Hayden, Suresh Raina, Muttiah Muralitharan, etc. and looked the most balanced unit the league could get. After the first-match massacre of a hapless Kings XI team, with a record total of 240 runs, the team seemed to be on track for bigger honours, but there were mid-season jolts. However, Chennai had their set-belts tied and sailed through to the semi-finals - only to be beaten by a magical Rajasthan Royals team in the final of the inaugural event.

Going into the second season, the expectations were expectedly high. There was obvious hype and collective brilliance of the team ensured they ended second on the league table. But the law of averages got them in the semi-finals and a resurgent Bangalore Royal Challengers were too good for the previous year’s finalists.
By the third season, the chokers’ tag sat amiably on their shoulders. The Chennai Super Kings started their campaign disastrously with early losses but Murali Vijay’s purple patch and Doug Bollinger's near perfect bowling ensured a final berth again.
They knew the match was never going to be easy against a spirited Mumbai Indians' outfit but some bizarre decisions by the opposition and no-nonsense all-round performance by Dhoni's boys put the championship crown on their head. And then they double their silverware collection by winning the Champions League as well.
In the 2011 auctions, CSK took a sensible decision by retaining key performers Dhoni, Albie Morkel, Vijay and Raina while most of the other teams were busy planning a complete make-over. And the new additions to their camp included some proven stars and some intelligent buys; all in all, an intelligent make-up by the champion franchise.
While Dhoni will lead the pack, Vijay, Mike Hussey, Raina and Badrinath will form the core batting line-up.
Albie Morkel, Francois Du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo and Scott Styris are a bunch of all-rounders any team would envy.
Morkel has been an integral part of Chennai’s lower middle order and his lusty hits will be more than handy. Couple it up with his disciplined bowling and ask the South Africans what they missed during this World Cup.
Bravo’s move to CSK is a big boon and his former team Mumbai knows it too well and Du Plessis is talked about in the South African corridors for all good reasons of impeccable talent.
The bowling looks as sharp as the barber’s prized possession. The team of Bill Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bollinger/Southee should be good enough to turn the opposition bald.
And with players like Sudeep Tyagi and Shadab Jakati backing up, this will be the team to survive against.
With all the pros of new drafts and old survivors, the con of losing the big Matthew Hayden will be hard to hold down. Haydos is one of the players whose mere presence in the dressing room transpires confidence.
Agree nothing is immortal, but a World Cup-winning captain leading another champion side may just help the Chennai Super Kings conquer yet another peak.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramanium Badrinath, Joginder Sharma, Sudeep Tyagi, Abhinav Mukund, Aniruddha Shrikant, Ganapathi Vignesh, K Vasudevdas, Shadb Jakati, Vijaykumar Yomahesh, (Foreign) Albie Morkel, Michael Hussey, Dwayne Bravo, Doug Bollinger, Scott Styris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suraj Randiv, George Bailey, Faf du Plessis

Read more at:http://cricketnext.in.com/news/chennai-super-kings-ride-on-dhoni-charisma/56230-13.html

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