Ganesh Subramanian dons the CSK hat and tells us why whistle podu times would be back again this edition of IPL.
As I write this one, CSK are joint top of the points table alongside Rajasthan Royals, a team which just broke some over confidence that might have set in the yellow brigade. For me this loss comes at the right time. It will help the team get back to the drawing board with a few concerns after the easy victories that came their way off late.
They also lead the fairplay awards tally. Apart from this the orange and purple caps sit proudly on the heads of two of the most consistent men in the yellow brigade, Mike Hussey and Dwayne Bravo. So are there chinks in the armour of the most consistent team across all editions of the IPL or are they right on course for another title reign? Let’s explore.
With 10 wins on the board, people expressed apprehensions as to whether CSK are peaking too early. To fuel their belief, CSK lost to Mumbai Indians by a whopping margin. But then look at the next game. They were up against a team that has not lost a single home game this season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and needless to say, CSK put the defeat out of its mind and whipped Hyderabad as if the defeat against MI never happened.
Let us look at the key contributors to the success story so far.
Michael Hussey: While his younger brother is searching for that elusive form for KXIP, the Huss Mikester, as Danny ‘Mad Max’ Morrison calls him, has elevated his batsmanship to another level. Mixing attack and defence as the situation calls for, this Western Australian has dissected attacks with a surgeon’s precision. No wonder he finds himself with the Orange cap at the moment, engaged in a see-saw battle with Chris Gayle for its possession. How much did Australia miss this veteran when they were whitewashed 4-0!
Dwayne Bravo: This West Indian has had a dream run with the ball so far with 21 wickets and has been Dhoni’s go-to man in the death overs. Apart from handy contributions with the bat and being more than an electric fielder, he’s making a mark with his dance moves as well.
Mohit Mahipal Sharma: He has been the surprise find for CSK this season with 13 wickets to his name. Bowling at a bustling pace and not afraid to use the short delivery, this Haryana speedster has consistently picked wickets in every match. Dhoni has cleverly used him often finishing his quota of 4 overs in a single spell.
Suresh Raina: With 458 runs at an average of 50.88 and a century and 99 to his name, both being not-outs, the leading run scorer overall in the five years of IPL history, Suresh Raina has hit a purple patch. He shrugged off an indifferent start to the tournament and has come up with match-winning knocks at the key No.3 position.
M S Dhoni with the bat and Ashwin with the ball have made some handy contributions, but they would surely agree that they would have liked to be a lot more consistent. Murali Vijay showed glimpses of form in the last innings and CSK will hope that this Tamil Nadu batsman returns to his run scoring ways sooner rather than later. Chris Morris, Ben Laughlin & Jason Holder haven’t had as much success as they would have wanted. Same is the case with the much trolled SIR Ravindra Jadeja!
Having secured the playoffs spot, I would like to see other players in the squad being given an opportunity and Dhoni has indicated so in his last post-match presentation. I am especially eager to see the Srilankan mystery spinner Akila Dhananjaya.
With great camaraderie, belief in each other, a great captain and different players contributing at vital times, it appears as if it will be difficult to stop the CSK juggernaut from its march towards yet another title reign. Much to the chagrin of a melee of anti-CSK groups that have sprung up on social networking sites and amidst brainless talks of match-fixing every time CSK wins, one thing is for sure, it’s Whistle Podu time once again !