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    IPL 2019 team review: Beyond MS Dhoni and Imran Tahir, not enough firepower for Chennai Super Kings

    IPL 2019 team review: Beyond MS Dhoni and Imran Tahir, not enough firepower for Chennai Super Kings

    As Dhoni and Fleming pointed out during and after IPL 2019, CSK needs to re-think certain strategies.

    Updated: May 14, 2019 10:12 AM IST | Edited By: Jamie Alter
    They defied the odds again to reach the IPL 2019 final, where they ended up losing by one run to Mumbai Indians. Carrying excess baggage, hurt by player injuries and loss of form, defending champions Chennai Super Kings, under MS Dhoni, came agonisingly close to a record fourth IPL championship.

    It speaks of their resilience and uniqueness, as well as reliance on Dhoni the captain, batsman, wicketkeeper and all-round talisman-cum-motivator. And also of the fact that changes are required to compete consistently with younger and fitter teams in the IPL.

    As both Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming pointed out during and after the tournament, CSK needs to re-think certain strategies. Shane Watson ate up far too many dot balls in an ordinary season, Suresh Raina was far from his best and the utter failure of Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav hurt badly.

    Dhoni aside, the bright spots were Imran Tahir, who at the age of 40 ended with the Purple Cap for most wickets; Faf du Plessis, who eased the burden of scoring runs on Dhoni; and Deepak Chahar whose accuracy and success in the Powerplay overs was a big factor in CSK reaching the final.

    Major disappointment

    Rayudu. Played all 17 games, batted 17 times and averaged 23.50 at an awful strike-rate of 93.06. Not what was expected of the man who was central, with Watson, to CSK's batting in 2018.

    (READ: We have to look at recreating the side: CSK coach Stephen Fleming)

    Verdict

    Watson's sluggishness and a flabby middle order meant that CSK had to sit out certain players who could have made an impact, and this hurt them. Dhoni, Tahir, du Plessis and Chahar aside, the rest were either inconsistent (Raina, Bravo, Jadeja) or not given enough playing time (Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner).

    Statistics

    Most runs: MS Dhoni 416 at 83.20, strike-rate 134.62, 50 x 3

    Most wickets: Imran Tahir 26 at 16.57, economy 6.69, strike-rate 14.8, BB 4/12

    Highest individual score: 96 - Shane Watson vs SRH, Faf du Plessis vs KXIP

    Best bowling in an innings: 4/12 - Imran Tahir vs DC
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