IPL 2019: Chennai Super Kings - CSK SWOT Analysis - Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat
Chennai Super Kings won the IPL title in 2018 and will take the field in the opening match of the tournament against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 23, 2019 in a bid to defend the title.
The team returned to IPL 2018 after a two-year ban and hit the ground running with the Championship win. It was in many ways a channelization of the angst and the frustration that the players, the team management and the fans had gone through during that two-year period.
Skipper MS Dhoni has played a huge part in the success of the team over the years. CSK has won three titles and has been a part of seven IPL finals, each time with MSD at the helm. This is what has led to almost a synonymous relation between Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings as the fans look at both as one and the same.
A Twitter user once cheekily remarked, "What is IPL? It’s a league where seven other teams play to beat CSK in the Finals!"
Ambati Rayudu has been in exceptional form in the last year or so and has been timing the ball magically. He was one of IPL's top 5 scorers last year and has since cemented his spot in the Indian ODI side at No. 4 in the batting order. With the form he is in, it would hardly be surprising if he continues from where he had left.
Rayudu also has the ability to bat anywhere in the order from opening the batting to the middle order. This provides the batting order with a lot of flexibility.
MS Dhoni remains the most celebrated asset of the franchise. He not only bats like like a boss and finishes matches for them but is flawless behind the wickets. Also, his captaincy has a big influence on the team's performance.
IPL does not give time to the players and teams to gradually ease out into the matches. Once the caravan starts, teams are almost playing two or three games every week which is obviously taxing on the body but if a player is out of sorts, it also becomes very difficult for him to come back to his own because there is hardly any time to work on the surfaced chinks.
Some of CSK's players like Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh have been short of match practice and hence might be a little rusty to start off. With the experience that these players have, hopefully, they will not take much time to get in sync with the fast-paced nature of the matches, otherwise the team can face a tough situation.
Lungi Ngidi and Deepak Chahar would be their premium pace bowlers. Ngidi just recovered from an injury and has come back well. He looks in good bowling rhythm in the ODI series between South Africa and Sri Lanka. It was his first year at the IPL last season and he certainly exceeded expectations. With some more experience, he can turn out to be a dangerous prospect.
Chahar too made a mark last year, especially with the new ball. With an upright seam which helps the ball to swing in the air and seam off the surface - though he does not have a lot of pace to back the moving ball - he is still capable to knock down a couple of early wickets in the Powerplay.
Both Ngidi and Chahar have matured over the year and this season brings them a great opportunity to prove their worth.
The team looks quite settled by and large. The players know their roles and what is expected out of them. Hence, the team will certainly have an opportunity to repeat the heroics of the last season.
CSK has a lot of players who are in their late 30s such as Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo and skipper MS Dhoni. The likes of Kedar Jadhav and Mitchell Santner have also had a few injury troubles lately.
Dhoni was successful in managing these players quite well in the last season but it will still remain a big threat for the team as if a couple of these players get injured, it will adversely affect the team's balance. And in a competitive tournament like the IPL, a couple of games here and there can change the entire picture.
Chennai Super Kings' purse after the auction: Rs 3.2 Crore
Retained players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Billings, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi
Purchased players in IPL Auction (Dec 18): Mohit Sharma (Rs 5 crore), Ruturaj Gaikwad (Rs 20 lakh)
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