IPL 2021: How Many Wins do Chennai Super Kings Need to Qualify for Knockouts?
MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings are 2nd on the IPL table with 10 points from 7 games.
After the cancellation of the Manchester Test between India and England, the focus has swiftly moved away to the upcoming second half of IPL 2021 in UAE.
The tournament was stopped abruptly earlier in the year, first week of May, after a spate of COVID-19 cases hit various franchises. Players and support staff across teams had tested positive, leading to the tournament being halted.
Among the teams directly affected earlier in the summer was, Chennai Super Kings, who had a torrid season in 2020 in UAE, and saw their coaches Michael Hussey, L Balaji and a bus cleaner test positive.
The MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings will hope that the return to the UAE does not bring a return of the poor fortunes from last season. The men in yellow were in fine form in the first leg of the IPL and will kick start the second leg with a game against defending champions Mumbai Indians on 19 September.
How Did IPL 2021 Begin for CSK?
Back on familiar territory, CSK weren’t at their fluent best on the first day but were quick to turn things around soon after.
After an opening game, which CSK lost by 7 wickets against Delhi, the Dhoni led team picked up the pace and how, winning the next five games at a canter.
CSK however lost their last game just before the league was suspended against MI, who won by 4 wickets.
The quick turn around and strong performances from more than a few put CSK at second place behind Delhi 10 points, with a net run rate of +1.263 which is better than any other team in the tournament.
Another aspect that has stood out with the CSK campaign of IPL 2021 is that they have hardly rotated their players, using all of 13 members of their squad.
Batters Faf du Plessis (injured in CPL), Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad were all in fine form as was all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Bowlers Deepak Chahar (8 wickets) and Sam Curran (9 wickets) were the pick of the bowlers with Moeen (5 wickets), Jadeja (6 wickets), Shardul Thakur (5 wickets) and Lungi Ngidi (5 wickets) making significant contributions as well.
What’s Changed for IPL 2021 Part 2?
CSK have been handed the boost of Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood’s availability after he wasn’t part of the overseas contingent for the first part of the season citing bubble fatigue.
However, CSK will be worried about Faf du Plessis, who suffered a groin injury on Sunday while playing in the CPL. In IPL 2021 so far, Faf has scored 320 runs in 7 matches with a best of 95* at an average of 64.00 and a strike rate of 145.45. He scored four fifties.
What do CSK Need to do to Qualify for Playoffs?
Another 6 points at least, 3 wins, is what should be enough for Chennai Super Kings to accomplish qualification for the knockouts.
With 5 wins from 7 games and 10 points and the best NRR, it would be difficult to see CSK not progress to the knockouts of the IPL, which is very familiar territory for them. They are currently ranked second in the table, tied on points with RCB and two points ahead of fourth-placed Mumbai Indians.
CSK are looking to qualify for the knockouts for a record 11th time and have 7 games to seal the deal – in effect, round 2 with every team in the IPL.
19 September: vs Mumbai Indians
24 September: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
26 September: vs Kolkata Knight Riders
30 September: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
2 October: vs Rajasthan Royals
4 October: vs Delhi Capitals
7 October: vs Punjab Kings
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