Mahendra Singh Dhoni the captain has reigned supreme in the Indian Premier League over the years. Under his stewardship, Chennai Super Kings have turned out to be the most consistent team in the tournament. He has captained a team in IPL on 174 occasions (CSK and Rising Pune Supergiant), winning 104 times, which makes him the only captain to have won more than a hundred matches in IPL history.
His win rate of 60.11 percent is by far the best among captains who have led a side in a minimum of 50 matches. He has won the title three times and guided CSK to 8 finals, out of the 10 tournaments they have been a part of. CSK enjoy the best win percentage among all teams, yet they aren’t the most successful team in IPL.
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That is because they haven’t been able to solve the Mumbai Indians puzzle. Mumbai Indians lost the 2010 IPL final to CSK and were without a title till 2012, by which time CSK had already won the trophy twice. But things changed for the ‘Blue Brigade’ ever since Rohit Sharma took over as the team’s captain.
Rohit has led the team to victory in four titles, winning ever alternate year since 2013. And what better, three out of the four victories in the final came against Chennai Super Kings, including a 1-run win in the final last year. Their third title came against Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017, a team that Dhoni was part of.
Hence, Dhoni has lost four out of five IPL finals to Mumbai Indians, out of which three came in a Chennai Super Kings jersey while leading the side.
To understand this further one needs to look the following table.
As the table shows, Mumbai Indians are the only team to have dominated CSK and that makes this rivalry the greatest in the history of IPL. In fact CSK has not lost more than 9 matches against any other team except Mumbai Indians. Their win ratio is in positive against all teams except Mumbai Indians.
To make matters worse, CSK will have to break the jinx of having lost the last 5 matches between the two teams. In an unprecedented show of domination, MI executed a clean sweep over CSK in an IPL edition for the first time in 2019, as they beat Dhoni’s team twice in the league phase and twice in the play-offs, which included the cliffhanger of a final.
This is a record that will bother someone like Dhoni, who has otherwise had a dream run in the tournament. Mumbai Indians’ poor record in UAE, played five and lost five, is something which might give Dhoni and his team a ray of hope.
But the challenge will be immense as CSK are missing two of their impact players in Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. And Dhoni himself has not played competitive cricket for more than a year. It will be interesting to see what ‘Captain Cool’ comes up with on his return to the cricket field in CSK colours.