Indian Premier League (IPL) has always been a green patch for Chennai Super Kings. CSK has thus far won the title 3 times, including the 2018 season. Even after being involved with a number of off-the-field controversies, the side has continued its supreme playing attitude in the park.
With Mahendra Singh Dhoni being at the top of the ship for all these years, it is not surprising to see CSK maintain a win percentage of 62% in all competitions.
Glancing back to the days of old glory, the first IPL final is still fresh in the minds of all loyal CSK fans. The last-ball win by Rajasthan Royals was a wound in the minds of all who wore yellow that night. However, much has been achieved and conquered by the yellow men from there on.
Now, at the grooming of a very new season, we take a look back to the XI players who were fielded by Chennai Super Kings on the night of the first final and what they are up to now.
#1 Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel was Chennai Super King's opener and wicketkeeper at the first ever IPL final. The keeper-batsman was CSK's third leading run scorer in the season with 302 runs from 13 games, including two 50s.
Against Rajasthan Royals, Patel scored a glittering 38 runs off 33 balls to open the attack, before falling prey to Yusuf Pathan. The then 22-year old was on the pitch for the first 9 overs, settling the CSK batting.
The player hailing from Gujarat stayed with the Chennai franchise till 2010. Later on, Parthiv Patel moved on to represent a number of teams in IPL - Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and now for a second stint with the Bangalore franchise this edition.
Parthiv couldn't stay long in the international circuit regularly and made his last appearance for India against South Africa in 2018. He is still in the radar for the Indian squad and is playing for Gujarat in First-Class cricket, including Ranji Trophy.
#2 Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan
Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan was one of Chennai's local talents in the first season. The batsman used to open the innings or at the top of the order for CSK and did so in 9 matches, scoring 145 runs.
During the final, Vidyut faced 14 balls from which he scored 16 runs to gather 39 runs for the 1st wicket partnership. The player never appeared in IPL after the final and couldn't progress much in his cricket career.
Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, now 37-years old last appeared in a professional match, for Goa in 2010.
#3 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina, even after 11 years remains one of Chennai's best and most trusted players. Raina was the star of the stars from the maiden season, scoring 421 runs from the 16 games and being the team's top-scorer. The UP-born player's contributions were beyond numbers in the season.
On June 1 2008, Raina scored 43 runs off 30 balls to become CSK's top scorer for the innings. The batsman came into the crease in the 6th over and remained till the 16th over, forming crucial partnerships.
Suresh Raina has been with CSK all through its days. When the club was off IPL for two years, the player was part of Gujarat Lions, before returning to the team in 2018. Unlike the old days, Raina is not a usual call-up to the national squad these days and played his last international match in July 2018, against England. However, he is contributing with his experience to Uttar Pradesh domestic team in the national leagues.
#4 Albie Morkel
One of MS Dhoni's lethal weapons during the initial days of Chennai Super Kings was Albie Morkel. Being the perfect all-rounder in the squad, Morkel scored 241 runs and picked 17 wickets in the inaugural season.
A key figure who took the final to a nail-biting finish was this South African all-rounder. With the bat, he contributed a quickfire 16 runs off 13 balls with two maximums. Defending the total, Albie Morkel had 2 wickets in pocked from the 4 overs, conceding only 25 runs and being CSK's best bowler on the night.
The elder Morkel then went on to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants in IPL. The 37-year-old who played his last international match in 2015, announced his retirement from cricket last month.
#5 Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The man who needs no introduction on this list is captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. One of India's most successful captains and Chennai Super Kings' biggest names, he was a star right from the birth of IPL. In CSK's first runners-up finish, Dhoni contributed with 414 runs from 16 games.
Leading the team in the final, MS Dhoni came in to bat and remained unbeaten with 29 runs off 17 balls. Doing what he does the best, 'Captain Cool' took his side to a decent total of 163 runs. However, the captain who motivated the team to the final fell short of the cup by an inch at the most important hour.
The Jharkhand-born wicketkeeper represented Rising Pune Supergiants for two years, during Chennai's ban period. Rejoining CSK, Dhoni is now again at the helm of the ship. Having retired from Test Cricket in 2014, Mahi remains a senior player in the Indian limited over teams.
#6 Chamara Kapugedera
Chamara Kapugedera was one who had a short stint with the Chennai franchise. The Sri Lankan batsman was part of IPL only for a single season and represented CSK in 5 matches, scoring only 16 runs.
During the final, Kapugedera came in to bat at No.6, but could only score 8 off 12 balls. With no other notable remarks, the middle-order batsman finished off the season.
With no other IPL records, the 31year old is part of the Sri Lankan national team occasionally. He was part of the Lankan limited over teams in the 2017 series against India.
#7 Subramaniam Badrinath
One Indian talent from IPL, that gave much hope to Indian cricket was Subramaniam Badrinath of CSK. The player was an all-time presence in the batting lineup in the first edition, scoring 192 runs from 16 matches.
However, the Tamil Nadu-born player didn't have huge duties against Rajasthan Royals. Coming in to bat at No.7, Badrinath had only 2 balls to face, from which he collected 6 runs, alongside MS Dhoni.
The player was a constant figure in the Chennai batting order until the 2013 season. Even after promising performances in the domestic circuit, Badrinath couldn't make it big in the national colours. The player played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2015 IPL season and is now not involved in any form of cricket as a player.
#8 Manpreet Gony
Manpreet Gony was the captain's trump card with the ball that season. Though he was a new face, CSK took the risk of giving the youngster enough time to prove his worth. Gony ended up being the team's joint leading wicket-taker that season with 17 wickets from 16 games.
Manpreet Gony picked one wicket during the final; the first wicket of the innings. He finished his spell with 30 runs conceded at an economy rate of 7.50.
The pacer from Punjab was a promising figure in his early days with Super Kings. He made his international in less than a month from the IPL final, but couldn't keep up with the race as he couldn't play more than 2 matches. In the league, Gony has represented Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab and is now a senior player at the Punjab domestic team.
#9 Lakshmipathy Balaji
One of the best fast bowlers from the Southern state of Tamil Nadu had the grace to represent the Chennai club in the initial season itself. Balaji was Dhoni's go-to option at crucial times. He played 9 matches in the season where he picked 11 wickets.
However, the final is not much of great memory to the pacer. His figures stood at 42 runs in 4 overs, without any wickets. He was the most expensive bowler under Dhoni's roof that night.
The 37-year-old was part of Kolkata Knight Riders between 2011 and 2013 and later joined Kings XI Punjab in 2014. He played his final international match in Indian colours in 2012 and called time on his career after the 2015 season of Tamil Nadu Premier League.
#10 Muttiah Muralitharan
The biggest player that was fielded by Chennai Super Kings on the night of the final was Muttiah Muralitharan. The right-arm off breaker was the team's trusted presence until 2010. During the 2008 season, he played 15 games and picked up 11 wickets.
Muralitharan had a crucial role in Dhoni's plans for final. He bowled his 4 overs conceding 39 runs and picking up the crucial wickets of Shane Watson and Mohammed Kaif.
The Sri Lankan player later was part of Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Royal Challengers Bangalore, in IPL. Being one of Sri Lanka's best players, Muralitharan ended his international career after the 2011 World Cup, after playing 350 matches for the national team. He is currently part of Sunrisers Hyderabad, serving as the bowling coach.
#11 Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini was CSK's opening bowler on the night of the final. The South African pacer was a regular figure in Chennai's maiden IPL campaign, appearing in 9 matches and picking up 7 wickets.
At the final, Ntini opened the bowling as usual, when Rajasthan Royal came out to chase a target of 164 in the 20 overs. He completed his 4 overs, conceding 21 runs at an economy of above 5. The fierce short balls that flew past Royals' batsmen was one factor that took the game to the very last ball.
Makhaya Ntini has never played IPL since and was active in international cricket until 2011. The latest colours in which the 41-year-old appeared was the role of Zimbabwe National Team's coach, till 2018.