Chennai Super Kings (CSK) restored their authority as an indomitable force in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the record-equaling fifth title. The MS Dhoni-led side succeeded at the top after a tumultuous last season that saw them finish in the ninth spot. This season, the franchise looked better managed and in control of the proceedings after the decision to promote all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja turned chaotic in the last edition. The Yellow Army bagged a whooping INR 20,00,00,000 after securing their fifth title, while the runners-up Gujarat Titans took home INR 12,50,00,000.
Their triumph in IPL 2023 had similar flavors to their title victory in 2021. The openers did the trick for the franchise in both seasons. The IPL 2023 ended with Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad as the top two run scorers for the franchise. In 2021, it was Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis who finished as the top two runs scorers in the lucrative tournament.
The New Zealand opener has filled in the boots of the experienced former South Africa captain quite well. His annual fee of INR 1,00,00,000 per season is a steal deal for the franchise. He accumulated 672 runs in 15 matches for the franchise. Comparatively, du Plessis fetched INR 1,60,00,000 from the franchise in IPL 2021, scoring 633 runs in 16 matches. The per-match fee for Conway is INR 7,14,285, while that of du Plessis was 11,42,857. Although du Plessis fetched an income of INR 428,572 more than his Kiwi counterpart, the franchise management has done a commendable job to recruit two classy openers in years for a price that is lesser compared to their individual prowess.
However, the franchise dealt with a major jolt in the form of England Test captain Ben Stokes. The prolific all-rounder and match-winner were bought for a whooping INR 16,25,00,000 at the mini-auction. The murmurs were loud as cricket fanatics believed that he can take over as the next captain of CSK. But his first season for the franchise ended in distress. He fetched INR 2,32,14,285 for his two appearances. But missed out on the remainder due to an injury. In 2021, Dhoni endured a rusty season, accumulating 114 runs in 16 matches. However, he was influential for the franchise from behind the stumps and guided his players to triumph. His retention fee in IPL 2021 was INR 15,00,00,000, fetching him INR 1,07,14,285 per match.
Incidentally, much like the openers, CSK’s bowling department draws similarities in both seasons. Rising Indian fast bowler Tushar Deshpande impressed in the just-concluded season, scalping 21 wickets in 16 matches, to become the highest wicket-taker for the franchise. He returned the best bowling figures of 3/45 this season. Similarly in IPL 2021, Team India all-rounder Shardul Thakur picked up 21 wickets and was the highest wicket-taker for the franchise. He returned the best bowling figures of 3/28. Comparatively, Deshpande was retained for an IPL 2023 fee of INR 20,00,000, while Thakur had an annual salary of INR 2,60,00,000. Given the prowess shown by both the players in a title-winning season, the young fast bowler is a steal deal for the franchise. He fetches INR 17,14,285 less than his more experienced Indian compatriot but has proven to be a handful.