ALL TIME CSK XI
Dr Madhu Thottappillil was the team doctor of the Chennai Super Kings for four seasons starting with 2012 and travelled with the champion outfit. “The camaraderie in the side, the dedication, hard work and the hunger for success stood out,” said the sports medicine specialist.
CSK emerged as one of the most decorated teams in the opening decade of the IPL by winning the title twice, finishing runners-up on four occasions and qualifying to the Playoffs in all eight seasons that they featured in.
“Dhoni... he has the ability to lift the team’s morale with a couple of words,” said the doctor, who is also a keen photographer and blogger, as he picked his all time CSK XI.
1 Brendon McCullum
2 Murali Vijay
3 Suresh Raina
4 Michael Hussey
5 Subramaniam Badrinath
6 MS Dhoni (captain, wicket-keeper)
7 Dwayne Bravo
8 Ravindra Jadeja
9 Ravichandran Ashwin
10 Doug Bollinger
11 Ashish Nehra
“McCullum – Capable of blistering aggression, unstoppable during power play. The Kiwi has been consistent for a decade in the IPL and is a livewire on the field.
“Vijay – A big match player capable of playing the big shots during the first six overs, he has been an integral part of the CSK run machine over the years.
“Raina – The best No 3 in T20 and the highest run-getter for the side in the IPL. A brilliant fielder, he pitches in with his off-breaks when there is a need to break partnerships.
“Hussey – Mr Cricket bats according to the situation to take control of the innings. A mentor and a calming influence.
“Badrinath – Underrated but highly effective as a floater, adjusts to the demands of the game, lends stability to the middle-order.
“Dhoni – Inspiring leader, brilliant wicket-keeper, motivator, the ultimate finisher and has the ability to lift the team’s morale with a couple of words.
“Bravo – A fantastic all-rounder: provides the team with quick runs, a death overs specialist with the ball and a brilliant fielder. Not to forget the entertainer, who ‘connects’ with his fans.
“Jadeja – A top-class all-rounder: restrictive bowler who picks up crucial wickets, one of the hardest strikers of the cricket ball and saves at least a dozen runs with his electric fielding.
“Ashwin – The highest wicket-taker for CSK. A sharp cricketing mind, the off-spinner enjoys bowling in pressure situations and more often than not delivers.
“Bollinger – The Aussie quick had tremendous impact with the new ball, providing early wickets and also kept one end quiet with his aggressive pace. The fans loved him!
“Nehra – Crafty, the left-arm fast-medium bowler could move the ball both ways and bowl the yorker at will. He had a plan for every batsman, executed them skilfully and was a brilliant mentor to the bowling unit. ‘Don’t worry about him, I’ll get him,’ I’ve heard him say many times, and he invariably got them!”