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IPL 2023: CSK’s magnificent title win attributed to Top 4’s consistency and brilliant bowling

IPL 2023: CSK’s magnificent 5th title win attributed to Top order's consistency in batting and brilliant bowling by youngsters. CSK won their 5th IPL trophy defeating GT in final.

IPL 2023: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lift 5th IPL title and equal Mumbai Indians' record _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won 5th IPL title (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

The Chennai Super Kings are known for their epic comebacks, and they are arguably the most consistent side ever in the history of the Indian Premier League. CSK team led by their legendary leader MS Dhoni proved it once again the 2023 edition of the IPL where they were crowned champions for a record 5th time.


This after a debacle in the 2022 season where they ended up at the 9th spot out of 10 teams with a lot of questions to be answered. However, with almost a similar side, CSK finished the league stage at the 2nd spot, something which was not expected when this IPL started. They subsequently became the first side to reach the final. This was their 10th IPL final (most by any team in IPL) and 12th playoff appearance (again the most) in their 14 attempts.


And in the final of IPL 2023, they successfully defeated 2022 champions Gujarat Titans in a closely contested rain affected game by 5 wickets.


So, this performance of CSK in 2023 should not come as a surprise to anyone despite the fact no one would have thought that they could reach this far with the team they had going into the tournament. But CSK’s triumph in 2023 was made possible eventually by the team’s collective excellence.



Let’s break down the brilliant performance of CSK here.

IPL 2023, GT vs CSK, Final, Top Performances_ Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad added 74-run for opening stand; CSK won 5th IPL title _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Conway, Gaikwad added 74-run for opening stand in final (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Openers were prolific through the season

The seasons in which CSK’s openers have done well, the team has succeeded often. In this edition as well, both their openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad were prolific throughout the season, and this directly resulted in the team piling up huge totals on the board.


Conway finished the tournament as CSK’s leading run-scorer accumulating 672 runs in just 15 innings scoring 6 half-centuries in the process. He did so at an incredible average of 51.69 and striking at just less than 140. The left-hander got good support at the top from his opening partner Gaikwad who himself scored 590 runs in the season at an average of 42.14. Gaikwad’s strike rate was 147.5 and the duo on most occasions gave the team a solid and a breezy start allowing the middle order to cash in.


IPL 2023, KKR vs CSK, Top Performances_ Ajinkya Rahane scored 71 off 29 balls against KKR at Eden Gardens; CSK beat KKR _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Rahane and Dube played some crucial cameos for CSK (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Rejuvenated Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube held CSK’s batting order together

If CSK’s openers gave the team good starts, it was the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube who consolidated the unit to make it big. Rahane didn’t have much of an impact in the last few IPL seasons and also lost his place in the national Test team. But come the 2023 edition, we saw 2.0 version of Rahane as he bludgeoned the bowling attacks while batting at No.3. He started with a stunning 27-ball 61 against Mumbai Indians before playing a counter attacking 29-ball 71* at Eden Gardens. His 27-run knock in the final gave the team much needed momentum to go over the line as he finished the league making 326 runs at a strike rate of over 171.


Shivam Dube, likewise, can be termed as one of the biggest success stories for CSK this year. He, time and again, injected momentum into the batting line up as he took on spinners without much difficulty. In fact, in the first 10 balls of an innings, Dube had the best strike rate and this helped CSK’s cause to a great effect. Dube scored 418 runs at an average of 38 with a strike rate of 158.33 in this season and this includes a whopping 35 maximums, just one less than Faf du Plessis who tops the list with 36 sixes in the league. Overall, the top 4 of CSK scored bulk of runs and at a faster rate.


IPL 2023, GT vs CSK, Final, Top Performances_ Ravindra Jadeja's 6-ball 15 seal the deal for CSK in final; CSL lift 5th IPL Trophy _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Jadeja struck the winning runs in final (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Ravindra Jadeja had a stunning season in all departments

After a poor IPL in 2022 as per his own standards, Ravindra Jadeja had his best all-round season in the IPL and he turned out to be CSK’s hero in the final of IPL 2023. Though he scored only 15 off 6, he made the most important 10 runs of this tournaments in the league’s final 2 balls to script a fairytale triumph for both himself, skipper Dhoni and CSK.


Jadeja ended IPL 2023 as the joint fifth-highest wicket-taker with 20 scalps while playing great cameos down the order. Though his best score was just 25, Jadeja regularly chipped in with useful knocks of 20s and along with MS Dhoni, he gave CSK the much-needed flourish in the end overs. In all, Jadeja made 190 runs at a strike rate of 142.


IPL 2023, RCB vs CSK, Top Performances_ Tushar Deshpande's 3-45 helps CSK beat RCB _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Tushar was the pick of the bowlers with 21 wickets for CSK (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Inexperienced bowling attack punched above their weight

Pacer Kyle Jamieson was injured, his replacement Sisanda Magala was also out with injury, and CSK’s lead pacer Deepak Chahar unavailability in the middle stages of the league only added to the woes of CSK. They had to rely on youngsters like Akash Singh, Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana along with Jadeja in the bowling department.


They did a commendable job as despite an inexperienced bowling attack for a considerable part of the league stages, CSK won 8 games which is an achievement and eventually went on to win the tournament.


Pathirana was the find of the tournament picking 19 wickets of which 16 came in the death overs. Tushar Deshpande, another inexperienced bowler, though being expensive, was among the wickets every time the team needed him. The 28-year-old scalped 21 wickets in the season and he along with Theekshana did a great job in the initial phase of the tournament.


Chahar missed the middle phase (6 games) but turned out to be effective post his return. Going wicketless in the first 4 games before injury hiatus, the pacer picked 13 wickets in the next 6 games. He proved to be effective for CSK and gave them timely breakthroughs in the powerplay.


IPL 2023_ MS Dhoni has won five IPL trophies as captain for CSK; CSK won IPL 2023_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
MS Dhoni led CSK to their 5th IPL title (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
MS Dhoni factor

The legendary keeper batter is well past his prime and he isn’t the batter that we were accustomed to see till a couple of years back. MS Dhoni doesn’t hit the sixes that we saw him do earlier and he gave himself a limited role of batting. He did that role to perfection playing some short cameos. But one thing he never lost is his immaculate leadership ability and his effectiveness behind the stumps.


Despite leading a relatively inexperienced bowling attack, he was able to get best out of them under his shrewd mentorship. So, he played a huge role in CSK’s record-tying 5th IPL title.


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