20.03.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMChennai Super Kings have been the most popular, consistent and successful franchise in IPL history. One of the main reasons for CSK’s success across all editions of IPL has been the contribution from their overseas batsmen.
CSK has been propitious to have overseas batsmen like Stephen Fleming, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson. One strange coincidence with these overseas players is the fact that most of them are opening batsmen. Ironically, overseas middle-order batsmen like George Bailey and David Hussey had very little success for CSK.
In this article, we will discuss three best foreign batsmen who have represented CSK in IPL history.
3. Matthew HaydenMatches – 32, Runs - 1107, Average – 37, SR – 138 Matthew Hayden played in CSK’s first ever match in IPL history against Kings XI Punjab. He came good in CSK’s next match against Mumbai Indians where he made 81 off 46 balls. After playing a mere 4 matches of the inaugural IPL, the burly Aussie opener had to return home on national duty. But before leaving, he made sure that CSK won all the four matches.
It was in the second IPL in South Africa that Hayden made a telling contribution to CSK’s campaign. The South African wickets suited Hayden’s stroke play as he notched up scores of 44,65,57,49,1,30,43,89,48,60,60 not out and 26. He was the Orange Cap winner in IPL 2009.
In IPL 2010, the southpaw brought in innovation with the introduction of the “ mongoose” bat in which the handle and the blade were of equal length. It was a special bat used by Hayden in T20s facilitating the clean swing of the bat to improve on timing.
Incidentally, Hayden’s best innings in IPL came with the “mongoose bat” in the 11th match of IPL 2010 against Delhi. In that match, Delhi batted first and left CSK with a target of 185. After playing with his regular bat for the first 4 overs, Hayden let loose the “mongoose”. The first four balls with the mongoose bat went for 4,6,4 and 4.
The “Mongoose” was proved to be equally effective against spin when Hayden walloped Dilshan for 3 sixes in one over. At the blink of an eye, he reached 93 off 43 balls with 9 fours and 7 sixes. In the end, CSK won that match comfortably.
Matthew Hayden played the dominant role as an opener for CSK and was part of the team which won the trophy in 2010.
2. Michael HusseyMatches – 50, Runs – 1768, Average – 42, SR – 124
The CSK management was smart enough to rope in both Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey in the inaugural IPL. Both batsmen were at the top of their prowess and clinical in putting the opposition bowling to the sword. Hussey scored a century on his IPL debut against Kings XI Punjab.
He was not a regular feature in CSK's playing XI in his first 3 years with the franchise. However, he went on to score 492, 261 and 733 runs in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. He started off IPL 2011 with an innings of 83 not out against Royal Challengers and finished off the season with 63 in the finals against the same opponent.
The classy left-handed batsman had a special liking to the bowling of Rajasthan Royals against whom he made 350 runs in 6 completed innings at an average of 58. He was equally successful against tougher opponents like Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers, Bangalore.
Against MI, he made a pugnacious 86 in the first qualifier in IPL 2013 to take CSK directly into the finals. In that match, Hussey added 140 runs for the second wicket with Suresh Raina in 13 overs. Hussey finished that season with 733 runs and the Orange Cap.
From 2011, Hussey formed a formidable opening partnership with Murali Vijay which was instrumental in CSK winning many a match. Mr. Cricket was CSK’s Mr. Consistent overseas batsman.
1. Faf du PlessisMatches – 51, Runs – 1243, Average – 38, SR – 128
Faf du Plessis is the crisis man for CSK. He made more than 300 runs for CSK in the years 2012, 2014 and 2015. However, post IPL 2015, he hasn’t got his chances frequently as the team has been top heavy with players like Mike Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Shane Watson. But whenever provided with an opportunity, he has proved his class.
The skipper of the South Africa cricket team is one batsman who has the penchant to come good with the bat whenever everyone else fails to do so. He once again proved that in last year’s IPL when he single-handedly took CSK’s to a win in the first qualifier against SRH. du Plessis was playing only in his fifth match of the season and he had scored a mere 85 runs in the previous 4 matches. However, Dhoni had faith in him even after repeated failures.
In that match, chasing a modest target of 140 for a place in the final, CSK lost its first 4 wickets for 39 runs with Watson, Raina, Rayadu and Dhoni all back in the pavilion. Faf was holding one end up while CSK lost 2 more wickets at the other end.
CSK needed 78 runs in 7 overs with only 4 wickets in hand with Faf on 21. He realized that he was running out of partners and decided to take things in his own hands. Shakib Al Hasan was the first bowler to get that message when he was drilled for a four and six. When on 38, he was given out LBW to Rashid Khan but was saved by the review.
The right-handed batsman wisely played out Rashid Khan and turned his attention towards the other bowlers. CSK needed 43 in 3 overs with 3 wickets in hand. Carlos Brathwaite was brought into the attack to bowl the 18th over. Faf drubbed him for 3 overs and one six before Harbhajan was run-out in the same over.
With SRH just 2 wickets away from a win with 23 runs to play for, the SRH captain Kane Willaimson made a tactical error by not opting to go with Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the 19th over. Instead, it was Siddarth Kaul who came onto bowl the over to new batsman Shardul Thakur.
Thakur was fortuitous to hit 3 boundaries in that over through inside edges. By the time Bhuvi was brought back for the last over, it was too late and Du Plessis finished off the match with a straight six. He singlehandedly won that match for CSK and once again proved that he is their crisis man.
Faf Du Plessis is the most successful overseas batsman in the current CSK team.