Interview of Cricket Fans (ICF) – 37 — Chennai Super Kings

Thank you so much for your participation in this interview, how long have you been following Chennai Super Kings in the IPL? What do you like the most about this franchise?

To be frank, I used to support MI during the initial days because of Sachin but always used to have a soft corner on CSK because of Mahi & being a home franchise. Got too attached to this team apparently at one point when Sachin started to play fewer games for MI. Days passed by, and that’s how I became a loyal fan of the franchise.

For the second question, it’s the emotional bond. This franchise easily creates that with fans & even with players. You can still see many former players of our franchise still post something to greet our team every time. That’s the bond the franchise creates. Players get to connect with our franchise as a part of their family with so much love. That’s one of the things I always like about this franchise.

Whenever we say CSK – only one name comes to our mind and you know the person I am talking about. Which is your favourite Thala knock of all time in IPL?

Well, there are many. If I want to pick one, his 70 runs off 40 balls against RCB during 2011. Was watching this game live in Bangalore but not at the stadium. After all, CSK top order batsmen getting out very cheaply and with a run rate less than 4 in the first half (after 10 overs) he almost scored the majority of the runs in the second part to put post a total of 120+ in that crunch situation. It was more or less like his 113* vs PAK game in ODI in 2012. Sadly this knock too ended in losing cause. One of the most under-rated & top-class innings of MS Dhoni for me.

Who is your favourite overseas player from Chennai Super Kings? Describe a bit about him.

Any player who represents CSK will turn out to be my favourite. For instance, I was never a fan of Watto before he was joining the CSK team. But now he turned to be one of my favourite players. My respect for him turned out very high, after watching his fighting spirit for our team. Legend for a reason.

If I had to name one player overall, it’s Michael Hussey. I enjoyed his performances a lot during his 2011-2013 period. I got to see all the matches of CSK during this period. Still can’t leave out some other overseas players. Their contribution really meant a lot for CSK.

It all began from 2010 for Chennai Super Kings, even though they were consistent in the first two editions of the IPL, then the next two editions – 2010/11 was fabulous, your memories then?

From 2010 till the end of 2011 IPL, it was a dream run for CSK & also a super treat for the fans. It all started after that 4 consecutive losses during their first half in 2010. It was not only about Dhoni’s Dharamsala madness, from Murali Vijay’s 127 vs RR to Chinna Thala-Badrinath’s crucial contributions, Albie’s timely cameos with bat & his new-ball spells, Bollinger’s match-winning performance in KOs, Ash-Murali-Jakati spin trio, it was a collective display of show. 2010 had a lot of memorable comeback moments for CSK.”

After triumphing CLT20, then CSK had a dominant season in 2011. They got to win all the home games & play-offs games also occurring at home, made things too easy for them. Consistent performances almost from all the players made things very easy for CSK. Qualifier 1 game vs RCB always remains one of my most memorable game. We won that game out of nowhere after having a poor start. That Raina’s knock & Albie’s finish always remains one of the best games of CSK for me during that season.

Winning a tournament after that two-year ban must have restored faith of millions of fans of this team. How did you celebrate the 2018 victory?

Many people started to troll CSK as there were more 30+ aged players. Was never expecting a trophy, but had a great belief that they will perform well as there were many players in our team who plays spin very well. They gave us a fabulous comeback victory against the Arch-rivals at the start & a memorable trophy at the end. You can’t expect anything better than this. Enjoyed each and every victory of CSK in 2018. Some thrilling games & new players stepping in for us in each game was my most highlighting & favourite part of the season. Will forever cherish those victories.

Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians – two top teams with top players and some amazing rivalry since the inception of IPL, your thoughts?

It became an EL Classico of IPL as these teams were the ones who were consistently exchanging the trophies & meets in the finals over last decade. MI under Rohit’s Captaincy turned out to be an absolute nightmare for us. When they win the game, it will look like a one-sided win. When we win, it will look like a Hard fought game. They have a lot of quality players. Even though a lot of CSK players didn’t play a lot of professional cricket over a year, I have a strong hope that the players will play with great potential and win the game for us. That’s what drives us forward every time and been a consistent team though we lose against MI.

So it’s Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings today, IPL opener, ‘India ka tyohar’ as they say is back. How do you think the team will perform this year.

All set to enjoy my man (Thala) and my favourite franchise after a very long gap. You never knew the mentality of Mahi after this season. Any U-turns may happen. It’s the time to enjoy until he lasts for CSK. So I’m gonna enjoy this season with no expectations. Always had great trust and hope on Mahi. Hope he gives us another fabulous performance with bat & also behind the stumps along with his troops. The first game itself was an exciting one. So can’t wait. Many fans have many favourite players & teams. Even they too have missed the IPL. Finally, IPL is back, the festival is back & also my man is also back. After a long gap, it always feels good to see the favourite players back in action.
Let’s celebrate IPL together & “Whistle Podu” with my CSK friends. Thanks a lot, Jay for giving me this opportunity.

Thank You Mukesh for this comment.

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