01 Apr 2021: IPL: A look at CSK's recent performances (2018-2020)
The 14th edition of Indian Premier League will be underway on April 9.
Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings will play their opener a day later against Delhi Capitals.
The Yellow Army, who failed to qualify for the playoffs last season, will be aiming for a befitting comeback.
Here we look at CSK's recent performances from 2018-20.
2018: The return of Super Kings!
The IPL 2018 saw the return of CSK and Rajasthan Royals, who remained suspended in 2016 and 2017.
Ahead of their comeback season, the MS Dhoni-side was labeled as the "Daddy's Army".
However, the CSK duly silenced their critics, and went on to win their third IPL title.
They defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in a one-sided final by eight wickets.
Fact: IPL 2018: Skipper Dhoni led from the front
CSK skipper Dhoni showcased some power-packed performances throughout that season. He scored 455 runs at a phenomenal average of 75.83. Ambati Rayudu (602) and Shane Watson (555) were also among runs. Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur picked up 16 wickets.
2019: A solitary run cost CSK a fourth title
CSK continued their sublime run in the next season too.
They claimed back-to-back victories initially to extend their dominance.
However, they couldn't break the deadlock against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians.
They lost to them twice in the league stage before getting defeated again in Qualifier 1.
Although CSK had the edge against them in the final, MI stole a victory by one run.
Fact: IPL 2019: Dhoni averaged 83.20 this time
Dhoni made his presence felt in the 2019 edition too. He slammed 416 runs from at a remarkable average of 83.20. He also became the first-ever captain to record 100 wins in the IPL. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir won the Purple Cap in 2019 (26 wickets).
2020: A forgettable campaign for CSK
The 2020 season turned out to be a forgettable one for the Yellow Army.
For the first time in the IPL history, CSK failed to qualify for the playoffs.
After winning the opening game against MI, they lost four out of five games.
During the season, Dhoni remained under the scanner for his low scoring-rate.
As a result, CSK finished seventh with six wins.
Fact: IPL 2020: Dhoni recorded his lowest tally of runs
South African batsman Faf du Plessis emerged as their lone warrior in 2020. He amassed 449 runs at 40.82. Youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad, who slammed consecutive fifties at the end, also inspired some hope. Meanwhile, Dhoni mustered only 200 runs, his lowest in an IPL season.