IPL 2021: Dhoni magic behind CSK's resurgence, writes Ramiz Raja
On the other hand, there are teams that are stuttering because of average leadership
The players in the first couple of weeks at the IPL were put through their paces like never before.
In cricket, a pitch sets the tone for quality and challenge. Playing spin and low bounce at Chennai was about coping with extraordinary difficulties of unexampled situation!
It was a far cry from the usual ‘charge and destroy’ T20 batting set up. One dimensional batsmen - i.e. sloggers - got exposed and buried in Chennai. The drama of low scoring games separated the men from the weak-hearted.
And captaincy for once gained prominence in a T20 contest. Who to choose and when to use your options in tight situations became winning or losing moments for the teams.
Talking of winning moments, the race to the pole is presently being bossed by the Chennai Super Kings. What a comeback it has been for them.
Tagged as an aging team at last year’s IPL, this unexplainable surge, with almost the same core of players, is a Sherlock mystery to crack.
Is it to do with follow the process mantra? Which is bit like a batsman at the crease talking to himself to just watch the ball to deflect pressure.
Could it be a case of challenging yourself?
Or is it simply MS Dhoni’s magic?
I think it’s largely Dhoni that’s behind the resurgence of the Super Kings. MS was able to keep calm and tough it out in what was a challenging edition last year for the CSK, without nailing the team in public, hammering away at the process and discipline that has finally hit home.
The big question, however, is whether this honeymoon for CSK can last until May 30!
On the other hand, there are teams that are stuttering because of average leadership.
David Warner and Eoin Morgan are both canoeing across a stretch of treacherous maelstrom. And both can lose their jobs if things don’t look up in the coming week or two.
Warner is a shadow of himself in terms of body language. And this low stems from his batting woes.
The Kolkata Knight Riders too need to find winning form to do justice to their top billing and fan following. They need a continual run of wins now to remain in the hunt.
Can captain Morgan sail them to safety!
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