Former New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris lauded Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni for the team’s turnaround in IPL 2021 after an underwhelming season in 2020. CSK had finished seventh in IPL 2020, the first time they had failed to make it to the last four. The three-time champions were criticised for playing an outdated mode of T20 cricket, and for backing ageing veterans over younger options until they had no chance in the tournament.
CSK quickly made adjustments for 2021, bringing in Moeen Ali at No. 3, lengthening their batting order until No. 10. They played an attacking mode of cricket, resulting in five wins in seven matches.
“I was incredibly impressed by the leadership shown by MS Dhoni, as much for what they did off the field as he did on the field. He knew if they tried to repeat what happened last year, it wouldn’t have worked. So they made changes, so incredibly smart and I think they (CSK) continue tactically to be the best in the competition,” Styris told Star Sports.
Styris, an ex CSK player himself, also lauded Deepak Chahar and Sam curran for consistent bowling. Curran got nine wickets while Chahar bagged eight.
“You pick up wickets early, it is a different ball game. They can really squeeze you and strangle you through those middle overs in particular. Sam Curran has a role to play in that with his ability to swing the ball in that one direction, Deepak Chahar on the other. I think they form a really good partnership together,” he said.
Prior to the season, Styris had finished an eighth-place finish for CSK.
When the tournament was suspended earlier this week, CSK were second in the table with 10 points. The IPL was suspended due to rising COVID-19 cases inside the bubble. CSK’s batting and bowling coaches, Michael Hussey and L Balaji, were among those affected by the pandemic.