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CSK’s Overseas Opening Kings

• 28 Mar, 24 • by Gaurav Sauran
CSK’s Overseas Opening Kings

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are synonymous with consistency in the IPL. One of the most successful franchises in the IPL, their major contributor to this success has been their ability to find impactful overseas openers who provide explosive starts and lay the groundwork for big totals. Here’s a look back at some of the legendary figures who’ve worn the yellow jersey and left an indelible mark on the team’s legacy as an opener.

 

Matthew Hayden

This Australian left-hander was a force to be reckoned with. Between 2008 and 2010, the Australian powerhouse smashed 1107 runs in just 32 matches, striking fear into opposition bowlers with his aggressive strokeplay, giving CSK the upper hand in the powerplay overs. His power-hitting was instrumental in many successful CSK chases. It was Hayden who introduced the infamous Mongoose Bat in the IPL tournament, hitting some of the most brilliant sixes in IPL history.

 

Michael Hussey

Known as ‘Mr. Cricket’ in the cricketing world, Hussey deserves a mention. Hussey’s tenure with CSK was marked by his remarkable consistency and cricketing intelligence. His successful stint as an opener for CSK has played a significant role in shaping the team’s opening strategy. Playing 50 matches between 2008 and 2015, he scored 1768 runs at an impressive average of 42.09. As of now, he is busy with his current role as batting coach for CSK.

 

Faf du Plessis

Faf brought a different kind of magic to the opening slot.  This South African maestro has been one of CSK’s most consistent performers at the top of the order. His elegant technique and ability to adapt with a calm approach to various situations provided much-needed stability at the top. It was here in CSK, where after displaying his amazing skills, du Plessis was considered for the South African International team. Faf du Plessis was part of the CSK franchise for almost a decade (2011 to 2021), barring 2016 and 2017, when the franchise was suspended. Plessis has scored 2932 runs for CSK.

 

Dwayne Smith

Dwayne Smith’s addition to CSK’s opening slot was what you could say destruction of the opponent of CSK. The Caribbean powerhouse perfectly complemented McCullum’s aggression with his own brand of six-hitting. Together, they were a nightmare for bowling attacks, striking boundaries at will and putting up daunting totals. In 32 matches, Smith has scored 965 runs for CSK.

 

Brendon McCullum

This New Zealand legend brought his aggressive brand of cricket to CSK. He was a nightmare for bowlers with his audacious strokeplay.  Partnering with Dwayne Smith, they formed a destructive duo. McCullum amassed 841 runs in 28 matches at a strike rate exceeding 137.1. His fearlessness at the crease was a sight to behold. His fearless approach and ability to take the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye made him a valuable asset to the team.

 

Shane Watson

Shane Watson found new life at CSK.  Scoring 1252 runs in 43 matches, his experience and power-hitting were crucial in CSK’s title victories in 2018 and 2021.  His determined century in the 2018 final and valiant knock in the heartbreaking 2019 final were both impactful and memorable in CSK.

 

Devon Conway

The New Zealand opening batsman has seamlessly transitioned into the role of opener for CSK. His string of three consecutive fifties has drawn comparisons to Michael Hussey, CSK’s batting coach and a former successful opener himself.  Conway has amassed 924 runs in 23 matches, averaging 48.63 with a 141.28 strike-rate. Conway’s ability to rotate strike and find boundaries makes him a valuable asset at the top.

 

Rachin Ravindra

The young New Zealand all-rounder is a prospect to watch.  His potential as a hard-hitting opener is exciting. Although he has only played only 2 matches in the IPL yet, scoring 84 runs with the enormous strike rate beyond 200 states his amazing future in the IPL. With his talent and the guidance of the CSK coaching staff, he might just be the next overseas star to light up the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

 

CSK’s overseas opening saga is a story of power, elegance, and adaptability. CSK’s strategy of bringing overseas openers has paid rich dividends throughout their IPL journey, with each player bring a unique set of skills and attributes to the team. With Conway flourishing and Ravindra’s potential yet to be fully unleashed, the future of CSK’s overseas opening unit looks bright. The cricketing world eagerly awaits to see who the next ‘overseas opening king’ will be for the yellow brigade.

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