Why CSK aren’t the best IPL team?

The world of sport pretty much always deals in superlatives: greatest, biggest, most, and best are the primarily used of the lot. Some examples of the use of these superlatives are: They are one of the ‘best teams’, they’re one of the ‘greatest clubs’ and, for individuals, he’s one of the ‘best players/batsmen/bowlers’. These superlatives stem from experts and ex-players, whose choice of words is taken on board by the fans, and start being used loosely.

This is how the theory that ‘Chennai Super Kings are the best IPL team’ came about and, for starters, it’s an absolutely false theory with absolutely no substance to it.

Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have featured in only eight editions of the Indian Premier League, compared to the other six franchises. So, the Chennai-based franchise and their achievements should only be considered for the eight-year period and not for the entire length of the IPL, which will in April enter its 11th year.

Read: Who has the strongest IPL 11 squad?

Now, to be considered the ‘best’, your achievements must be greater than anyone else’s. And, in the event that a team’s achievements are on par with their opponent(s), calling them as ‘one of the best’ does not make sense. And such a description of a team, needless to say, is a travesty.

From 2008 to 2015, CSK won two IPL titles (2010, 2011), the same number as Kolkata Knight Riders (2012, 2014) and Mumbai Indians (2013, 2015), establishing this T20 cricket league, which has been won by six different franchises, as the most competitive. So, no way are Super Kings eligible to be called the ‘best’ or the most successful IPL franchise; the joint-most successful IPL team? Maybe.

Another theory within this theory that ‘CSK is the best team in IPL’ is because they have reached the knockout, playoff stage of every season. Maybe everyone should be reminded that trophies and titles aren’t given to those who make the playoffs and choke there, thereby being forced to settle for the next best. Success in sport is based on the trophies won and not on the number of semi-finals and finals a team have reached. Losing in the semi-finals, finals or at any knockout stage is a deficiency that none with high ambitions should be proud of. Chennai, despite having been part of the most IPL finals (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015), have only two titles to show for their consistency.

And… the last of the theories within the theory: CSK are the most followed/popular IPL team or, in other words, CSK have the most fans. This is arguably the biggest misconception and none of us can say with certainty if the franchise from Chennai are indeed the most-supported, most-loved IPL team. You can refer to the Facebook fan maps that get shown while the matches are being played, the Twitter battles displayed on your TV screens and every such example.

But social media is on its own deceiving and, in this case, they (social media channels) are not the right barometer to measure the popularity or the level of support for CSK or any other IPL franchise.

The simple reason being anybody can like a franchise’s Facebook page and/or follow their Twitter handle. And, the number of likes and followers is not justifiably proportional to the number of fans a franchise have and their popularity as such. So, even though in numerical terms Chennai have a supposedly smaller fan base (this franchise’s Facebook page has 11,813,284 likes) than say Mumbai Indians (12,777,451 likes), they may not necessarily be less-supported than the best IPL team at this point and also the other way round too.

Essentially, Chennai Super Kings have been a good, quality IPL side who have thrilled cricket fans all around the world. And kudos should go to everyone associated with this south Indian franchise. But the theories that you’ve been exposed to and you have taken on board are just plainly untrue.


  1. Because you don’t like South Indians, doesn’t mean you have to demean their emotions. CSK is an emotion. They are proud of it. If you cannot digest the fact that a South Indian team is becoming popular, I am sorry, your writing skills are worthless in the absence of fairness. Please think about choosing other profession where you can keep your nasty discrimination within your closed group and not to make it public and get humiliated.


    1. On what counts should Chennai Super Kings be called the best team in IPL if they had the same number of titles as Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians after eight years?

      On social media too, CSK do not have the greatest fan following of the IPL teams?

      And everyone’s entitled to have an opinion!

  2. I really respect your opinion sir !!! With all due respect csk is the best Ipl team ever let me provide you the basis !!
    What makes a team the best !!!!
    No of trophies
    No of matches won
    Quality of batting and bowling
    Win percentage

    No of trophies; since we talk for 8 years so we consider that the no of trophies of mi is only 2 so only KKR csk and mi are filtered here
    No of matches won : considering consistency before Gambhir KKR was as good as a minnow soo they lost so badly they where giving free wins so KKR is eliminated
    Quality of batting and bowling both teams had a fair share of best bowlers and batsman (don’t play sachin is a god card here , and am not taking Suresh Raina the success full batsman here )
    The points Are shared
    Win percentage
    When everything is a draw then comes the win loss ratio here csk ultimately has the edge thus until mi has a better ratio or winning one more cup cake remains the best Ipl team

    1. Hi, Surya, glad to have your side of the argument 🙂

      My point, though, is simple: the team who have won the most trophies/titles (not just in IPL but any other league and tournament across sports), are the best team.

      A team’s consistency, which is often the parameter used to support the argument that CSK are the best, doesn’t make them the best necessarily. The format of IPL is such that only two teams have ever won gone on to lift the title after topping the table at the end of the league stage. And so, consistency doesn’t reward you with the Indian Premier League title, unlike, say, an English Premier League or football leagues of its kind. Which is why you’ll often have captains reiterating the need to peak at the right stage and go into the playoffs in the best shape possible.

      Which brings us to needing to win the final to lift the trophy. And CSK, despite being the team to have featured in the most IPL finals to date (six), only have a 33.33 per cent success rate, while Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have a 75 per cent and 100 per cent (!) success rate in IPL finals.

      Of course, if you go by this article, which also takes into account the first eight seasons of IPL, then CSK are the joint-best and joint-most successful IPL team.

  3. less no of presence in final directely proportional to more no of semi finals or league match loses ,it means, pls use the logical theory to depend ur team.

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