IPL 2021: the old magic of CSK before the wrath of COVID

A scorching Ravindra Jadeja chained a flame of six in the round final. The Deepak Chahar clinic was destructive with its swing. And the tip of Sam Curran’s versatile play was in sight.

After a disastrous 2020, Chennai Super Kings made an astonishing turnaround in the 2021 edition of the IPL.

The competition is now on hold due to the alarming Covid-19 situation in the country, but BCCI is determined to hold the rest of the competition in the UAE or Sri Lanka later this year.

A rejuvenated CSK has won five of their seven games and finished second in the table. One of his losses was a last-ball crash with the explosive Kieron Pollard which pulled off a heist of sorts for the Mumbai Indians.

Unlike the aging side of 2020, this year’s CSK was relatively younger and hungrier with clear role definitions. Above all, the team was not too dependent on the skipper MS Dhoni for its success.

The opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad played a key role in CSK rediscovering his mojo.

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The quick du Plessis at amazing bat speed, if not footwork, was remarkably consistent at the top of the order with 320 runs at a whopping 64.00 [Strike Rate 145.45].

And his footwork, timing and silky discs colleague Gaikwad helped CSK build a solid platform.

Moeen Ali has proven to be an inspired signing for CSK. He kept the momentum going even when the wickets fell and invariably picked up the pace of the comeback to No.3.

With the grace and fluidity of a left-hander, he found the gaps or freed the ropes with a stroke of willow without effort.

And he also contributed to his off-spin, supporting Jadeja and choosing wickets at crucial stages.

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Suresh Raina displayed flashes of form and Rayudu’s brutal assault on MI in his unbeaten 72 reflected his valuable ability to use the crease.

And then Chahar and the left-hand shipowner Curran delivered vital blows, finishing with eight and nine wickets.

The influential Jadeja was the Super King with bat and ball against RCB, rocking in-form Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, the latter with absolute beauty spinning on the bat’s face.

With Dhoni quietly pulling the strings, CSK was well and truly back.

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