3 Players you probably didn't know played for Chennai Super Kings

Akarshak (Ishu) Roy

Dirk Nannes celebrates Sachin Tendulkar's wicket with Suresh Raina (L) and Ravindra Jadeja (R)

Chennai Super Kings have arguably been the most consistent team in the widely celebrated Indian Premier League.

The fact that they have secured playoff berths in every single season they've participated in speaks of their consistency, shrewd tactics and overall management of a power-packed squad.

They were undoubtedly the first team in the history of this league to devise a protocol of maintaining a contingent of exceptional Indian players, while also assigning specific roles for each player.

It's no miracle then that they have lifted three titles, as CSK are known for spectacular in-game intelligence and the ideology of constructing a set of players who can sustain their form and maintain chemistry within the dressing room for years.

When you think of it, to have just one captain lead the side for all seasons in a fast-paced, dynamic league such as the IPL is commendable. It is also indicative of how much emphasis CSK put on long-term strategies. Even then, CSK are a force well beyond just MS Dhoni's intelligence and icy cool composure on the field.

Lesser rotations and more balance has been key to their success, but, like every team that aims to evolve and become better with time, CSK too have tinkered with their balance. They've released a few players that failed to match their methodology or have failed to perform per their lofty standards.

Although the Chennai-based franchise has been home to some fantastic cricketers, there have also been some whose contributions either weren't stellar enough or dipped significantly. As a result, they faded from the fans' memories over the years.

On that note, we remind you of three players who you may not know played for the Super Kings.

#3 Nuwan Kulasekara

Nuwan Kulasekara (R) played for CSK in 2011 and 2012

A symbol of the shift from the Chaminda Vaas era to the Lasith Malinga era, and the last of the elite Sri Lankan pacers who left a lasting impression in world cricket, Nuwan Kulasekara was drafted into the CSK set-up in the first mega auction.

Of course, he was the senior bowler for the Islanders back in those days. At CSK, he was predominantly used as an understudy to the reliable Albie Morkel, who was the premium new-ball operator for the Men in Yellow back then.

Given his first cap against the now-defunct Pune Warriors India towards the midway stage of CSK's second title-winning campaign in 2011, the pacer cleaned up Mithun Manhas and finished with 1/26 off his three overs.

He would go on to play five more matches for CSK - all in the season after. Impressive with the first and second spell during the preliminary stages of an innings, Kulasekara finished his phase with four wickets from five outings, giving away just 6.71 runs per over on average.

Unfortunately, the shortest version of the game moved on and he never played in the IPL again.

#2 Abhinav Mukund

Abhinav Mukund has played seven Tests for India

With over 10,000 first-class runs for Tamil Nadu and an unbeaten domestic triple century to his credit, Abhinav Mukund is another one of those glittering youngsters who failed to make the cut as often as they would have liked in international cricket.

He has recorded seven Test appearances for India, all intermittently. The 30-year-old introduced himself against the West Indies back in 2011, but a tumultuous time in the testing conditions at England resulted in his axing.

The top-order batsman was included in the Test series against Australia in 2017, but scores of 0 and 16 didn't improve his case in the one Test match in which he was selected in the XI. Soon, he amassed 81 versus Sri Lanka at Galle, which also proved to be his last international appearance.

Mukund, just 18 then, was scouted by local club CSK but managed to face only one ball in the 2008 season. He remained not out on 0, and that is his ephemeral career for the three-time IPL champions.

#1 Dirk Nannes

Dirk Nannes was a part of CSK from 2009 to 2013

On his day, perhaps no other bowler was as devastating as the affable Dirk Nannes. The Dutch-born Aussie pacer freeloaded off a run-up comprising of giant strides and a bent back. While Albie Morkel was CSK's first-choice foreign pacer, having a player of Nannes' class was a luxury.

The speedster was used a little differently in the second season owing to the greater amount of pace in the South African wickets. In 13 matches, he scalped 15 wickets at an impressive average of 24.8 and an acceptable economy rate of 7.51.

The following term, he was heavily used in the death overs. Nannes certainly repaid the faith shown in him with seven wickets from nine fixtures, giving away just 6.52 runs per over.

His time in the middle was cut short in the following two seasons due to new acquisitions in the squad. In seven matches in the next couple of years, the former Australia international claimed six wickets.

He was certainly a clutch bowler for Dhoni and CSK, with the former India captain turning to him to stop the flow of runs at the death or even bowl important spells at various junctures of an innings.