The local lads of CSK have certainly made their mark.
The international imports in the CSK team have a big fan following. And so do the big names like Dhoni and Raina. But the local lads of CSK have also contributed their mite to the fight for the title. Here is an overview of CSK's indigenous idols.
Murali Vijay seems to be God for every CSK fan now! His 127 off 56 balls was cherished, appreciated and extolled by every one of us Chennaites. And sure, the opposition is jealous and scared of this 26- year-old right-handed blaster. His strokes flow easily and he bats well under pressure. He also stands sixth in line for the Orange Cap – being CSK's second highest run getter and has 21 sixes to his credit. He can now proudly walk around singing the Vijay-starrer, “Naan adicha thaanga maatte Naalu maasam thoonga maatte” (if I hit you, you won't be able to stand it; you won't be able to sleep for 4 months). With a strike-rate that is close to a 150, he has proven more than necessary. He has played just 13 IPL matches and has been well appreciated. The way in which Kieron Pollard was trapped in Vijay's safe hands is unforgettable! He has worn the Indian colours for brief stints, but by being CSK's regular opener and proving his dynamism, national duties are not far away.
In three seasons, Subramaniam Badrinath has been on field for 44 matches with 674 runs coming off his bat. CSK's middle order does need a solid performer, which he seems to lack.
Lakshmipathy Balaji might have conceded almost 50 runs against Bangalore and Mumbai, but the seven matches he played this season has given him seven wickets.
Bowling at 9 runs per over is also not a positive sign. His best figures in 2010 are 2/9 against Kolkata in 2.2 overs. But, despite his very average form now, none of us can forget his hat-trick in 2008 against Mohali. The same match brought him his only 5 wicket haul in IPL. After a string of injuries, this comeback must be applauded. But, his best is yet to come. CSK might have lost on April 10 to Deccan, but R. Ashwin proved to be the best among all the bowlers that day. The four overs that he bowled went for just 13 runs and he also sent both the openers back to the pavilion. While his economy rate lingered around three, the other CSK bowlers were hit around. He has been very impressive in the domestic circles and time has come for him to cement his place in CSK. This off-spinner could give us the essential breaks when Murali is not around. He is still learning and can definitely prove worthy.
These four have made their mark. Yet, the team boasts of a half-a-dozen more talented young locals. Abhinav Mukund and Napoleon Einstein (both were part of the India U-19 team that lifted the world cup in 2008) are yet to play major matches. Anirudha Srikanth and C. Ganapathy need a big break. Palani Amarnath and Suresh Kumar are the other local lads to still open their account with CSK this season. They are young, have potential and have performed well in the domestic circuit.
The local lads have been match-winners in many ways and have kept the CSK fans ready and going. Our current position might seem a little disturbing, but we are there to support them! Good Luck to the Men in Yellow!!
Kasturi has just finished Std XII at AMM School, Kotturpuram