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Chennai, Mumbai and Gujarat's success story

Mumbai Indians' players take a lap of honour at the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 21, 2023. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE                   / AFP / )
Mumbai Indians' players take a lap of honour at the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 21, 2023. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP / )

The statistics have certified that the 2023 season of IPL has been the most competitive season of all times and it has had a lot of extra attention from the fans. Now that’s bound to happen when even after over one and half months of matches if teams are reliant on what happens on the last day of the league stage. But there is one question that has been asked to me over and over again, “what’s the reason for the success of Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans over the years?” and today I am going to be defining the secret for each of them in my opinion.

 MUMBAI INDIANS – Mumbai Indians are one team that work in a very different way compared to other teams. Mumbai Indians have established a very strong base with infrastructure, training facilities, coaching staff, scouts, trainers, personnels and many other facilities and services. Every year, the huge scout team goes and looks for

average performing but huge prospects of the future. Now Mumbai Indians provide them with a base, consistent training and development facilities and small opportunities, through which they start to perform like super starts from season 2 or 3. Obviously, they are average players when being recruited, but they are kept between superstars, which increases their self-belief. Mumbai Indians also understands that, there will be a drought for a season or two and they do not panic in that tough phase and the management absorbs that pressure.

 Chennai Super Kings – If the DRS is called Dhoni Review System, then you can imagine the amount of love and respect that this man has earned over the years. He has proved himself year-after-year to people’s expectations and he has surely stood up to it consistently. Now, if we look into the details of how CSK operates, then its extremely different from how the other teams like to do things. One can compare CSK to an autocratic government, where all the decisions are made from a single ruler. Now in reality, Dhoni has so much love and respect from the fans, management and his teammates that this works absolutely fine there. Now Dhoni is

a firm believer of investing in experienced resources majorly, who already know how to absorb pressure. Another special trait of Dhoni is that, he doesn’t judge players based on their past performances, that’s exactly why Dhoni is able to find results from players like Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu. His calmness on the field, allows the player to stand up in difficult times.

 Gujarat Titans – Now this is a special one and my perception would surely differ for anything that you would have generally seen or heard about. Gujarat is a team that has been found just last season and they won the championship last year and this year they top the points table at the end of the league. Firstly, in my opinion, this team has been formed on the guidelines which were well explained in the 2011 movie ‘Moneyball', which stars Brad Pitt. The movie is based on Oakland Athletics baseball team of 2002 season. Faced with the franchise's limited budget for players, the hero builds a team of undervalued talent by taking a sophisticated sabermetric approach to scouting and analysing players.

In my opinion, Gujarat follow a similar concept, where majority of their players aren’t superstars, but they are just able to obtain the right amount of contribution required from a player to win the game. Players like Vijay

Shankar, Sai Sudarshan, Rahul Tewatia, Wriddhiman Saha, Joshua Little, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma and many others have been provided with the exact expectations from the team management, which makes things simple for them. One extremely important part is the relationship between Hardik Pandya and Ashish Nehra. Pandya is the captain and future of Indian cricket, yet he gives the space to Ashish Nehra to call the shots. This space is extremely important for any team/player to be able to perform freely and I feel that even Virat Kohli is learning from this model and trying to give space to Faf Du Plessis to captain, such is the impact.

One of the young followers of this column, Arihan Jewrikar, a third standard student of Indian School Nizwa, mentioned to me that, "Hardik Pandya brings luck with him, taking his team to play-off top spot second time in a row. His luck will make India win World Cup"; Yes, I believe that luck plays a big role cricket, but its way more than luck and if Team India are able to adapt to these strategies, then they could benefit in a big way and surely, he should be considered as the leader for the upcoming World Cup and so should Ashish Nehra be kept along with the team.

It goes without saying that these teams also have flaws, but their capacity to keep calm in difficult situations and patience combined with quality communication has been able to provide unexpected results for their teams. Their way of operations is completely different from one another, but that what we mean by horses for courses and I assure you that the main reason for their success, which stays common for all is their solid base structure, which

is well defined with the expectations and roles of different individuals associated, that’s exactly what provides clarity and avoid chaos/confusion.

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