Yesterday MS Dhoni displayed his Midas touch to help CSK to its 9th IPL finals. Considering the fact that CSK was suspended from IPL for two seasons, to be able to make it to 9 finals off the remaining 12 IPLs is a superhero effort. Dhoni has been at the helm of affairs for Chennai Super Kings for all these years and has ensured that the team crosses over to the other side three times off the nine times.
The team had to cope with some serious introspection last year but have come back strongly. With CSK being one of the biggest brands in IPL, everyone would be happy to see them in the finals. After the Kolkata and Bangalore match, it is left to be seen who out of Delhi Capitals or Kolkata Knight Riders meet Dhoni’s men in the finals.
It is our intuition that Dhoni would march ahead with his troops to lift the fourth IPL trophy in the finals on October 15, 2021. There are 5 predominant reasons for that.
1. MS Dhoni is back in form
The entire season, Dhoni had struggled big-time with the bat. His captaincy instincts were still intact but he was not hitting the ball as he used to do in his prime. His feet were slow, hand-eye coordination was out of sync and he was not timing the ball as he used to. He had a spurt of single-digit scores and looked like the weakest link in the batting line-up. On Sunday, the team needed 13 runs off the last over and Dhoni finished it off with 4, 4, and 4. His six in the previous over off Avesh Khan reinvigorated the fans. His 18 off 6 was vintage and he seems to have found his touchback at the right time.
2. Silence critics of last season
After last season, many critics wrote off CSK. They ranked second last on the points table and only the net-run rate differentiated them from Rajasthan who ended up with a wooden spoon. Dhoni’s captaincy acumen was brought into question and speculations about whether he still had it in him to lead the team started to do the rounds. Dhoni in his recent interviews mentioned how last season was difficult for them but he has not lost faith in his own or his team’s ability. The desire to silence the detractors would be burning in the team now that they are in the finals.
3. Key players performing at a crucial time
The team at one point were banking on a couple of players. Gaikwad was single-handedly giving them brilliant starts and putting up big scores on the board. Jaddu was their designated finisher. He ensured the team reached a respectable score at the end of the innings. In the bowling front, Chahar and Hazelwood were anchoring the team. however, come the business end, Uthappa has played a classy 44 balls 63 runs in the run-up to the finals. Dhoni has shown his ageless power-hitting. Bravo is fit and back in the team. Therefore, the team would be going into the finals with a lot of confidence as a unit and not with individual performers.
4. Break the Finals curse
Of the 9 times that CSK has been in the finals, they have only three times. Their loss percentage in the IPL finals has been an incredible 67%. They made it to multiple finals after winning the 2010 and 2011 trophies but could never win the cup. This time, CSK would want to replicate their winning finals and would want to end their unusual curse of losing most IPL finals.
5. A parting gift to MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni has been associated with the Chennai Super Kings since the inception of the Indian Premier League. He has been captaining the franchise since 2008 and has successfully guided them towards three IPL titles and managed to reach 11 IPL playoffs. His last dream would be to end his stint with this wonderful team on a winning note. There is already discussion about him being with the CSK next year but maybe not in the capacity of a player. Therefore, as a team and franchise, all players would want to give him the 2021 trophy as a final goodbye gift.