Three time champion Chennai super kings A flop show took place last season, escaping thanks to a wooden spoon for some victories in the back end of the league stage as they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in tournament history.
Here’s what works and doesn’t work for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team, which opens its campaign in Mumbai on April 10 with the Delhi capitals.
CSK has a great choice of experience, which will put them in a good position in critical situations. Dhoni’s inspiring leadership is another advantage for the team. The return of Raina will strengthen the batting unit which had stumbled a lot in the UAE in last year’s IPL.
In Raina’s batting, Faf du Plessis, Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, new recruit Moeen Ali and fast-improving Ruturaj Gaikwad can prove to be a handful for the rival bowling attack and set big score platforms . To make the bowlers do their job.
In the line-up with Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Curren, Deepak Chahar, CSK have a good bowling unit to test the best batsmen from the opposition ranks.
A team consisting of aging stars proved CSK undone last season and they have clung to core squads too much. In the fast-paced world of T20s, senior stars can prove to be a hindrance.
With some CSK players, including Dhoni, Raina, Rayudu and Tahir having retired from international cricket and not playing domestic games, the lack of match time could harm the team. Furthermore, the captain’s waning finishing powers have not helped the team’s cause.
Aussie fast bowler Josh Hazlewood’s decision to pull out of the IPL will ease himself ahead of the busy international season, a setback for CSK.
Apart from this, Ravindra Jadeja is making a comeback after a long injury and he will soon be back to his best.
Apart from the weak return of veteran Trinidad all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, his injury problem will worry CSK.
With this year IPL match Having played in neutral venues, CSK, which relies heavily on spin, will have to change its strategy, especially in Mumbai where wickets in wickets may have something to do with it as well.
The spin bowling department has experienced and skilled operators, but the think-tank needs to get the combination right. Imran Tahir spent most of last season on the bench and the rest like Piyush Chawla and Karn Sharma were ineffective.
After a forgettable 2020 where he finished seventh, things could only go north for Dhoni and his people. Known to have a slow start, Super Kings have to be the best from the start to make an impact and the combination must also be perfect.
Poor batting let CSK down in the UAE last season and if they do not work out their strategy again, it could hamper their chances again.
If the three-time champions are to perform well then the fast bowlers will need to step up on a big scale, otherwise it will be another difficult season for Dhoni & Co.
CSK Squad: Mahendra singh dhoni (Captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Curry. R Sai Kishore, Moin Ali, K Gautam, Cheteshwar Pujara, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagat Verma, C Hari Nishant.