Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press
Five wins in a row and there seems to be no stopping the Chennai Express this IPL. Their opening loss to Punjab (read Glenn Maxwell) seems a distant memory now; they appear to have brushed it aside and moved on really well.
What is most impressive about this Chennai outfit is how consistent it is each and every season, even with the unavoidable changes in the squad due to the mandatory player auctions. The team management has done well to retain the nucleus of the team, and all their additions and changes have only helped them reach for the skies.
Chennai's strategy has changed a bit from the past seasons where they used to get off to a steady start and then pick up their rate in the last third of the innings. However, when you've got Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith as your openers, a slow and steady start should be far from expectations.
It has worked for them, and how! The new opening combination provide them with the perfect rollicking start, while the rest of the formidable batting line-up, which includes Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja, pick up from where they left off.
This is then followed by an equally talented bowling line-up, with the likes of Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja all in prime form.
Ever since they lost all-rounder Dwayne Bravo early in the tournament to injury, Chennai haven't had the need to tamper with their combination. This consistency in their line-up has surely helped them make headway, and as things stand, there really doesn't seem to be any way of stopping them.