IPL 2020: A look at Chennai Super Kings’ so-called Dad’s Army
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are undoubtedly the oldest team by average age among the eight franchise of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). In fact, the CSK are at times regarded as ‘Dad’s Army’ for compising and relying on ageing players.
The average age of the MS Dhoni-led franchise is 30-plus and some of their senior members like the skipper himself, Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu have not featured in the competitive cricket for a while now.
Though CSK have finished as the three-time champions (2010, 2011 and 2018) besides having made it to the knock-out stages in every season of the IPL that they have played so far, the Dhoni-led team were clearly seen struggling in this year’s IPL perhaps because of the extreme UAE conditions and due to a long break amid coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the Chennai franchise slumped to their third successive defeat at the hands of Sunisers Hyderabad to slip to the bottom of the eight-team table with two points from four matches and a negative net run rate of -0.719.
In fact, Dhoni was seen struggling at the crease for the first time ever in the searing heat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during his side’s tie against the David Warner-led team at the Dubai International Stadium.
The 39-year-old CSK skipper was seen relaxing in the 18th over as he found it difficult to cope up with the heat and humidity of Dubai. This caused a delay in the play as the CSK team physio came to the field to have a look at the skipper. Dhoni, however, finished with an unbeaten knock of 37-ball 46, but CSK slumped to seven-run defeat against SRH.
Notably, 11 out of the 22 players of the Dhoni’s side are over 30 years of age while six out of the top seven of the CSK’s batting line-up are over the age of 35.
South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who will join the CSK squad after finishing his campaign with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL), is currently 41-year-old and the the oldest player to be part of the tournament.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has pulled out of the this year’s IPL citing personal reasons, is currently the oldest Indian player of the lucrative T20 tournament.
Meanwhile, MS Dhoni and former Australian cricketer Shane Watson, who are past 39 years of age, are among the top five oldest players of this year’s IPL.
Let us take a look at the age of the CSK squad:
Wicketkeepers: MS Dhoni – Age 39, Narayan Jagadeesan – Age 24
Batsmen: Faf du Plessis – Age 36, Murali Vijay – Age 36, Ambati Rayudu – Age 35, , Ruturaj Gaikwad – Age 23
All-rounders: Shane Watson – Age 39, Dwayne Bravo – Age 36, Kedar Jadhav – Age 35, Ravindra Jadeja – Age 31, Piyush Chawla – Age 31, Mitchell Santner – Age 28, Sam Curran – Age 22, Monu Kumar – Age 25
Bowlers: Shardul Thakur – Age 28, Deepak Chahar – Age 28, KM Asif – Age 27, Imran Tahir – Age 41, Karn Sharma – Age 32, Josh Hazlewood – Age 29, Lungi Ngidi – Age 24, R Sai Kishore – Age 23
On a related note, Chennai Super Kings will next lock horns with KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on Sunday.