Even before the introduction of the Impact Player rule in 2023, it was believed Chennai Super Kings had 12 players during its home matches at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. The reason was no team had made the 22-yard strip in its backyard as potent a weapon as the five-time champion had at Chepauk, where spinners ruled the roost.

Once you add the tremendous crowd support to the mix, not unsurprisingly, the side has the best home record in the IPL, boasting a win percentage of 71.64.

In 2024, the Super Kings have continued to reinforce their supremacy in their den, having won all three home matches so far. The first two wins came on slightly atypical surfaces where the CSK spinners did not take a single wicket. But on Monday, against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), it was a throwback to the classic Super Kings template of using spin to choke the opposition and pocket two points.

Taking on an opponent which had many powerful strikers in its ranks, the CSK spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja, used the slow and grippy surface to good effect. They hit the correct lengths to force the visitors into errors and dry up the runs. The host conceded just 50 runs from nine overs of spin while prising out four frontline batters and did not concede a boundary for 35 deliveries. It was a pivotal phase during which the Chennai side moved into the ascendancy, from where it did not lose its firm grip on the match.

Later, KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer and its lead spinner Varun Chakravarthy felt their team didn’t adapt to the conditions as they aimed for a big total and fell short when a total of 160 or 170 would have been handy. 

After two defeats on the road, it was a crucial win for the reigning champion to get its campaign back on track. And if the comprehensive victory was not enough to reiterate its dominance at home, the image of Andre Russell shutting out the deafening crowd noise when M.S. Dhoni walked into bat showed why Chepauk is a fortress.