When it comes to Chennai Super Kings and the IPL, the word dominance can be easily attached to it. After beating the Delhi Capitals by six wickets in the second qualifier at Vizag, Chennai Super Kings reached their eighth final in the 10 editions of the Indian Premier League that they have played. Chennai Super Kings are not only the three-time IPL champions but they are the only side in history to have made it to the playoffs in all the 10 editions that they have featured in, having missed the 2016 and 2017 editions due to the spot-fixing scandal.
For MS Dhoni, his appearance in the final of the Indian Premier League only enhances his legendary status. Not only has he been at the helm of all three of Chennai Super Kings’ title triumph, but he has also been part of all the eight finals for the side. In fact, this is his ninth IPL final, having been part of the Rising Pune Supergiant team in the 2017 Indian Premier League where they lost by one run to Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad. For Dhoni’s appearances in the IPL final, one social media post summed it up brilliantly where Dhoni was captioned with the words, “Eat, Sleep, Enter Final, Repeat”.
Dhoni’s first appearance in the final came in the inaugural edition in 2008 when Chennai Super Kings squared off against Rajasthan Royals. However, Chennai Super Kings lost the match on the last ball as Rajasthan Royals won by three wickets. After a blip in the 2009 edition of the IPL in South Africa, Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings tasted success when they defeated Mumbai Indians by 22 runs. Dhoni became the first captain to win back-to-back IPL titles when they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 58 runs.
In 2012, they square off against Kolkata Knight Riders in the final but Manvinder Bisla’s brilliant 89 gave Gautam Gambhir’s side their maiden IPL title while in 2013, Mumbai Indians exacted revenge for their loss in 2010 by beating Chennai Super Kings in the final. In 2014, they were knocked out in the second qualifier by Kings XI Punjab but in 2015, they once again reached the final. However, Mumbai Indians got the better of Chennai Super Kings as they won their second IPL title by 48 runs.
After Chennai Super Kings were suspended, Dhoni headed to Rising Pune Supergiant. In 2016, he did not have a good time as the team finished in the seventh position. In 2017, Dhoni was still part of the franchise and this time they reached the final only to lose to Mumbai Indians by one run. In 2018, Chennai Super Kings was back and Dhoni’s vintage captaincy helped Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final thanks to Shane Watson’s brilliant century.
The only worrying thing for Dhoni will be Chennai Super Kings’ record in the final. Losses in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 could dent the confidence of the side but Chennai Super Kings can reverse the losing trend. With Chennai Super Kings’ entry into the playoffs for the eighth time, there is no denying that Dhoni and IPL finals are indeed a match made in heaven.