IPL 2023

Out of favour cricketers who performed well under MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings

Sagar Paul

April 22 2023
Out of favour cricketers who performed well under MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings

MS Dhoni has backed out of favour cricket stars many a times at Chennai Super Kings in the IPL

MS Dhoni‘s leadership style has often been described as unorthodox yet effective. He places a lot of emphasis on building a cohesive team, where each player understands their role and contributes to the team’s success. He has a reputation for being a captain who trusts his players and gives them the freedom to express themselves on the field. This approach has worked particularly well for players who may have lost their confidence or are struggling to find their form.

Under Dhoni’s guidance, players have often been given the opportunity to play in their preferred positions, which can help them perform to the best of their abilities. Many cricketers who have joined the CSK squad after facing setbacks in their careers have gone on to perform exceptionally well under Dhoni’s leadership. It is believed that Dhoni’s calm and composed demeanor, combined with his shrewd tactics, creates an environment where players can focus on their performance without any undue pressure.

In this article we will look at the out of favor Cricket stars who performed well under MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings.

Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra was bought by the Chennai Super Kings in the 2014 Indian Premier League auction. His career had been in a slump due to injuries and poor form, but playing for CSK under the captaincy of MS Dhoni helped him turn things around. Under Dhoni’s leadership, Nehra was able to regain his confidence and focus on his bowling. He was given the freedom to bowl as he wished and was backed by Dhoni even during times when he was not performing well. Nehra’s outstanding performance during the 2015 IPL season, where he took 22 wickets in 16 matches, was instrumental in helping CSK reach the final that season.

Nehra’s remarkable comeback in both IPL and international cricket, including playing a key role in India’s run to the semi-finals of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, was attributed in part to the profound impact that Dhoni had on his career. Nehra himself acknowledged how Dhoni’s calm demeanor, tactical expertise, and belief in his players helped him rediscover his form and perform exceptionally well under his captaincy.

Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu evolved as a versatile and reliable middle-order batsman under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Dhoni showed a lot of faith in Rayudu’s abilities and gave him a consistent opportunity to bat in the middle-order for both the Indian cricket team and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Rayudu was bought by CSK in the 2018 IPL auction Prior to joining CSK, Rayudu had played for Mumbai Indians, but it was under the leadership of Dhoni that he truly blossomed as a cricketer.

Under Dhoni’s captaincy, Rayudu was not only given a fixed batting position, but he was also given the freedom to express himself with the bat. He became a vital cog in the CSK middle-order and played some crucial innings for the team in their successful IPL campaigns. Ambati Rayudu’s best IPL season was indeed the 2018 season with CSK, where he scored 602 runs in 16 matches at an average of 43.00 and a strike rate of 149.75. This was a crucial contribution to CSK’s title-winning campaign that year. Rayudu was again bought by CSK in the IPL 2022 auction. Ambati Rayudu has been a regular member of the Chennai Super Kings team, and he continues to be a key player for them in the current 2023 IPL season.

Shane Watson

Shane Watson was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL auction. He proved to be a valuable addition to the team and played a key role in their title-winning campaign that year.

Watson opened the batting for CSK and provided them with quick starts in almost every match. He scored 555 runs in 15 matches at an average of 39.64 and a strike rate of 154.59. He was particularly impressive in the latter half of the tournament, scoring two centuries in back-to-back matches and playing a match-winning knock of 117* in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

In the 2019 IPL season, Watson continued to play a crucial role for CSK, although his numbers were not as impressive as the previous season. He scored 398 runs in 17 matches at an average of 23.41 and a strike rate of 127.56, playing some important innings for the team. He battled a knee injury during his innings of 80 off 59 in the IPL 2019 final, where he almost pulled off an unlikely victory for Chennai Super Kings over Mumbai Indians. In 2020 he scored 299 runs in 11 matches.

Watson played a significant role in CSK’s success during his time with the team, and his performances helped the franchise reach the playoffs in all three seasons he played for them. He has spoken highly of Dhoni’s leadership and credited him for his success with the team.

Robin Uthappa

Robin Uthappa, a seasoned IPL player, had previously represented various teams, including the Kolkata Knight Riders , Rajasthan Royals , and Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, in January 2021, he was traded to the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League season.

Despite not featuring in the early matches of the IPL 2021 season, CSK skipper MS Dhoni gave Uthappa a chance to prove himself towards the end of the campaign. In the four matches he played, Uthappa scored a total of 115 runs. He played a crucial match winning knock of 63 runs off 44 balls in the Qualifier 1 match against the Delhi Capitals.

In the following IPL 2022 season, Uthappa featured in 12 matches for CSK, scoring a total of 230 runs. His performance was considered decent, and his innings of 88 runs against RCB was a highlight of his season. However, Uthappa was subsequently released by CSK ahead of the IPL 2023 auction.

Shivam Dube

Shivam Dube, who had previously played for the RCB and RR, joined the Chennai Super Kings in 2022. Despite being known as a hard-hitting batsman, Dube had struggled to perform to his full potential in his previous stints with other teams. However, since joining CSK, he has been able to showcase his true abilities.

Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, Dube has been given the freedom to hit the ball and play his natural game. This has allowed him to perform better and score more runs. In the IPL 2022 season, he scored a total of 289 runs, which included an unbeaten innings of 95 runs.

In the ongoing IPL 2023 season, Dube has continued his good form, scoring 134 runs in five matches. He played a crucial innings of 52 runs against RCB in the last match, helping CSK to secure a victory. Many credit Dhoni’s leadership for Dube’s success with the CSK team. Dhoni has a reputation for nurturing young talent and giving them the freedom to express themselves on the field.

Ajinkya Rahane

In the 2022 mini auction, Chennai Super Kings bought Ajinkya Rahane, who had previously played for Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Rahane is a consistent performer in the IPL and has performed well in almost every season. However, after the 2019 season, he was struggling to perform well. Last year, he played for KKR, but he got injured in between the season and was ruled out of the tournament. From 2020-2022, he played only 18 matches.

This year, Rahane has emerged as one of the key players of the Chennai Super Kings team. Captain MS Dhoni has given him the opportunity to play as a no.3, and he has been playing exceptionally well, having already scored 138 runs in 4 matches, including a blistering knock of 61 runs off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians in the first match he played. His strike rate in these three matches is an impressive 181.58, which is something one would not typically associate with Rahane.

Dhoni’s captaincy and his decision to use Rahane in the right position have been instrumental in the latter’s success this season. This could be a defining season for Rahane as he has been out of the international team for quite some time now.

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