Chennai Super Kings are undoubtedly the most successful IPL team, with two IPL trophies and two Champions League Trophies in their kitty. Captained by the charismatic leader, MS Dhoni, the Chennai-based franchise had its fair share of dominance in the IPL before the Lodha Committee suspended the side for two years, along with Rajasthan Royals.
The most successful IPL team, with a win percentage of 60.68 and captained by the coolest skipper on the planet, MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings were a huge force to reckon with. Their success was largely due to their strong base of Indian players and the shrewd captaincy of Dhoni.
Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey played a huge role in Chennai's title runs in 2010 and 2011. Their Champions League record is also the best with titles claimed in 2010 and 2014.
Playing their home matches at the slow and sluggish M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Chepauk, CSK made the ground their fortress. The franchise has an eye-catching home record, including an unbeaten run at home in the 2011 season.
However, 2014 witnessed them playing their home games in Ranchi due to some tussles with the Tamil Nadu Government. While Ranchi was the home ground of Dhoni, CSK could not quite replicate their Chepauk success there.
In January 2008, when the IPL started, India Cements took over the Chennai-based franchise for $91 million, acquiring rights to ownership for 10 years. N.Srinivasan, a prominent name in cricketing circles and the former BCCI President became the owner of the franchise as he held the position of vice-president and managing director of India Cements Ltd.
The franchise was the fourth most expensive one in the IPL after Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Coached by South African Kepler Wessels at the start, CSK turned to one of its most experienced players in the inaugural season, Stephen Fleming, the shrewd Kiwi skipper, to coach them after 2008.
He continued as head coach until the Lodha findings in 2015.
Team name and Jersey
The Chennai jersey has barely undergone any changes since its inception. They went into the inaugural season with a yellow jersey, in sync with their logo of a growling lion. The logo symbolises youth and a fiery attitude which Chennai Super Kings have stayed true to. The jersey has shades of blue and orange apart from the primary yellow.
The manufacturer of the jersey was Reebok till 2014 before Spartan manufacturers from Australia took over in 2015.
Telecom provider, Aircel, was the main sponsor for the team from 2008 for a period of three years before it renewed its sponsorship for a record expense of Rs. 850 million.
From 2014, UST global became its main sponsor for a period of three years. They had other sponsorship deals with Pepsi, Reebok and Usha. In the initial seasons, Tamil actors, Vijay and Nayantara, were the brand ambassadors of the franchise although their immense popularity mostly stemmed from MS Dhoni’s brand value.
The famous Whistle Podu theme song of the team was composed by the duo of Aravind Murali and Jaishankar Iyer.
Captain and tournament history
MS Dhoni was the skipper of the franchise for all of eight seasons they took part in. He was bought in the inaugural season for $1.5 million. The purchase turned out to be a spectacular one as the former Indian skipper became the most successful IPL captain with an enviable win percentage of 61.05%.
The team boasted of some excellent talents in their inaugural season with Dhoni, Matthew Hayden, Muttiah Muralitharan and Michael Hussey being a part. They faced Rajasthan Royals in the final of the inaugural season in 2008 but lost by 3 wickets off the final ball.
Moreover, the vice-captain, the ever energetic Suresh Raina, never missed a match for Chennai through its IPL journey. Raina is also the second highest run scorer in the IPL behind Virat Kohli of RCB.
CSK has the rare honour of being the only team to qualify for the semifinals in every season of the tournament they took part in. They made it to the final six times, winning two (2010 and 2011) and losing the other four (2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015).
Their best season as a team came in 2010 when they won the IPL and Champions League. In the final season they took part in, 2015, they lost to Mumbai Indians in the final at Wankhede.