The proceedings for IPL 2020 have begun with teams retaining their core squad. With the mini-auction, the teams have added a few players as per their requirements. All franchises are now gearing up for the upcoming season with hopes of getting their hands on the trophy.
One team that has always been in the limelight in the race for the title is Chennai Super Kings. They had built a strong team before being banned from the league in 2016. Still, they made a successful return to the competition by winning the cup in 2018. They were equally successful in their initial years as they played in six of the first eight finals from 2008 to 2015.
Because of the much-famed success of the team, it was extremely difficult to get a place in the team. Even if a player got to play, he had to perform consistently to keep his place in the team. Despite having MS Dhoni as the captain, who backs his players, it is hard to establish one's spot given the competitiveness of the league.
Also see – IPL schedule
On that note, let's look at six players who have played just one game for CSK.
#1 Mark Wood
Mark Wood was one of the players picked up by Chennai Super Kings during the 2018 IPL auctions. He was expected to play a huge role as he had a reputation for nailing yorkers at will in the death overs.
He was picked in Chennai's opening game against Mumbai Indians in 2018. As expected, he was asked to bowl in the death overs. But the Pandya brothers took him for 36 runs in his final two overs.
He was dropped for the subsequent games and didn't play after that. He couldn't contribute much through his performances. But his compositions of "Everywhere we go" and "Du Du Du Rayudu" helped massively in building the camaraderie among the team. In fact, with a strong fan following on social media, it became a hit among CSK fans.
#2 Vijay Shankar
Going into the 2014 mega-auctions, the CSK players were in high demand as they were successful in the first six years. As a result, CSK lost out on quality all-rounders like Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, and Jason Holder to other teams.
The team management had to opt for other all-rounders, and Vijay Shankar was one of the bright prospects in the domestic-circuit. He was picked up in the 2014 auctions. CSK had a fantastic start to the season by winning seven of the first nine matches. But their team combination was worrying, as they had only five bowling options in their playing 11.
CSK decided to try out Vijay Shankar in place of lower-order batsman Mithun Manhas. But the move didn't reap rewards as Shankar was smashed by Shane Watson in the only over he bowled. He never had a chance to bat as MS Dhoni finished off the match with two balls to spare. The all-rounder didn't get to play thereafter for the franchise.
#3 John Hastings
Much like Vijay Shankar, John Hastings was one of the all-rounders that Chennai bought in the 2014 auctions. Dwayne Bravo was ruled out of the season after sustaining an injury. Hence, Hastings was expected to play the role of a death bowler with his experience.
But CSK opted not to play him in the initial part of the season. With bowling being their Achilles heel in the season, CSK tried out Hastings in the second half of the tournament. He debuted against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He bowled three overs, giving away 29 runs and picking up the wicket of David Warner.
Hastings' performance wasn't good enough for CSK to win the match. He was dropped from the team as the team management decided to go with an all-Indian pace attack. The plan backfired as they lost in the play-offs. Virender Sehwag plundered the attack as the lack of experience was evident in the way the bowlers bowled. Hastings was released from the squad for the following season.
#4 Thisara Perera
Chennai Super Kings suffered a huge blow before the 2010 season, as IPL's then costliest player Andrew Flintoff was ruled out with a knee injury. He had a fantastic run during the Ashes in 2009 and MS Dhoni's men would have expected the same from the Lancashire all-rounder.
But he had to skip the season and hence, CSK targeted impactful all-rounders in the 2010 auction. They lost Kieron Pollard to Mumbai Indians in a tie-breaker and had to settle for Justin Kemp and Thisara Perera. Kemp was in the fag end of his career, while Perera had just made his debut for Sri Lanka.
Perera got his IPL debut against Mumbai Indians. He didn't get a chance to bat, while he got only an over to bowl while defending 180. With the equation reading, 48 from 30 balls, the Sri Lankan bowled a poor over to concede 19 runs, which included four boundaries. The fact that five of the six balls he bowled were full tosses made him sit out for the remainder of the season.
#5 Arun Karthik
With the Thisara Perera experiment failing massively, CSK had to look for other options. Hence the team management decided to drop him and bring in an overseas fast-bowler for the next game against Rajasthan Royals. Batting was strengthened by dropping Indian bowler in the form of Lakshmipathy Balaji and wicket-keeper batsman Arun Karthik was handed his IPL debut.
Karthik, who was part of the CSK squad right from the start of the IPL in 2008, didn't get a chance to play as the opening slot was occupied by Mathew Hayden and Parthiv Patel. Even in this game, he was slotted to come in at No:7, which is way too lower for an opening batsman.
He came into bat in the penultimate over of the game, with CSK requiring 27 off those final two overs. He did his part by rotating the strike to allow the more dangerous Albie Morkel to take command. But once Morkel was dismissed, Karthik couldn't do much as CSK lost their fourth consecutive game.
#6 Chandrasekar Ganapathy
Having suffered their fifth loss in seven games, CSK was languishing at the bottom of the table. Their only hope was Doug Bollinger, who was signed as a replacement for Jacob Oram. But CSK had a tough game against an in-form Royal Challengers Bangalore before the arrival of Bollinger.
Desperate for a turnaround, CSK dropped Arun Karthik, after a single game. Following that, the local all-rounder -- Chandrasekar Ganapathy -- was given a chance. Ganapathy was known for his exploits in Indian Cricket League where he contributed as a bowling all-rounder.
Firstly, he had an opportunity to contribute with the ball. But his medium pace was handled with ease by Virat Kohli as he scored 13 runs from the over which include two boundaries off two full tosses'. With the bat, he was at the crease when the winning runs were scored. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't face a single ball.
He was dropped for the next game and he got an opportunity to play in the IPL again for any team.