IPL 2023 CSK Team Review: Despite 5th Title in the Pocket, Bowling Remains a Concern for Chennai Super Kings

IPL 2023 – Chennai Super Kings Team Review (Photo: Sportzpics)

CSK ended the league stage at second spot on the table with 17 points after which they made it to the finals after defeating the reigning champions by 15 runs

Chennai Super Kings ended their campaign as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 champions. The MS Dhoni-led side outsmarted the defending champions Gujarat Titans in a rain-curtailed game by five wickets to clinch a historic fifth title. They are now the joint-most successful franchise of the IPL alongside Mumbai Indians (MI).

Dhoni & Co. started their campaign with a defeat at the hands of Hardik Pandya’s GT in the season opener. However, they bounced back soon with a win against Lucknow Super Giants and maintained the form throughout. CSK ended the league stage at second spot on the table with 17 points after which they made it to the final beating the reigning champions by 15 runs.

IPL 2023 Record

Matches 16, Won 10 (including the Qualifier 1 and the Final), Lost 5

High Point of the Season

Chennai made a quick return after losing the season opener. They lost their third game to Rajasthan Royals but then registered three wins on the trot – against RCB, SRH and KKR, respectively – which elevated them to the top half of the table and with a better Net Run Rate. Though they lost the momentum midway but rapidly returned to the winning ways towards the end, consolidating their position. A 77-run win against Delhi Capitals finalized their spot in the playoffs.

Lowest Point in the Season

Despite emerging as the champions of the IPL 2023, CSK couldn’t defeat RR , neither at home nor in away game. CSK hosted Sanju Samson & Co. in the 17th match (on April 12) of the season and lost it by three runs. A couple of weeks later, the Super Kings arrived in Jaipur to settle the score but they couldn’t. The hosts won the game by 32 runs, completing a double.

Most Valuable Player

CSK not only saw just one but multiple players coming to the fore and winning games for them. The opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway each scored more than 500 runs this season. At the same time, the franchise saw the evolution of Shivam Dube as a fantastic middle-order batter who ended the tournament with 35 sixes- second most after Faf du Plessis, and 418 runs.

Last, but not the least, Ajinkya Rahane was also one of the valuable assets who made his CSK debut with a 19-ball fifty and kept playing handy cameos whenever required. Even in the final, he scored 27 off 13 balls to help CSK beat GT and win the trophy.

Disappointments, if any

Amid all the positives, the CSK bowling unit has been under the pump throughout the season. With Deepak Chahar missing out on a few games due to injury, the likes of Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana took charge of the attack. They did a decent job overall but failed to remain consistent. Deshpande improved a lot this season. Beginning as one of the disastrous impact players to getting the Purple Cap, the Maharashtra bowler did all the hard yards to cement his place in the playing XI. However, the final didn’t treat the CSK bowlers well. While Tushar was the most expensive – 56 for none in 4 overs, Pathirana (2 for 44) and Chahar (1 for 38) also leaked runs too.

Captaincy Verdict

What could anyone say when Dhoni himself is leading from the front. After a horrendous season last year, they regrouped with some fresh talents and began their journey from the scratch. The youngsters in the camp faltered but unlike other franchises, he showed faith in them and backed them throughout. That’s the reason why each and every Super Kings player put up a fighting performance when needed. As far as Dhoni’s IPL future is concerned, the skipper said he will try and push himself for one more season, just for the fans.

Top Stats

Most Runs: Devon Conway – 672 Runs

Most Wickets: Tushar Deshpande – 21 wickets

Highest Individual Score: Ruturj Gaikwad – 92 vs GT

Best Bowling Figures: Moeen Ali – 4 for 26, vs PBKS.