IPL 2018: Team Preview - Chennai Super Kings
2017 Performance - Did not play
Having spent two years out in wilderness, the iconic yellow of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are back for the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The decibel levels are guaranteed to go up at the M. A. Chidambaram stadium as the fans look to make up for lost time.
Apart from being a dominant team in the history of the IPL, Chennai has been known to be a very closely-knit unit. Even though they could not retain the services of their star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, they have retained the core part of their team.
The likes of Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis have all had successful careers for CSK and are more than happy to be donning the yellow once again. The biggest crowd puller though will continue to be their captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who gets a chance to lead a side once again, having not captained any IPL team last year. Rested from the India squad from the recently concluded Nidhas trophy, Dhoni will be fresh and raring to go.
The names mentioned above can demolish bowling attacks single handedly on their day and if one adds the likes of Shane Watson and Kedar Jadhav to that list, then the batting looks even more ominous. Watson had his poorest IPL season in 2017, when he managed only 71 runs at an average of 11.83 and a strike rate of 91.02 to go along with five wickets at an average of 49.00 and an economy rate of 9.13. However, strong performances in the recently concluded Big Bash League and Pakistan Super League will give him much needed confidence going into this season.
CSK’s failure to retain the services of Ashwin did them no harm whatsoever as they managed to beef up their bowling with a like-for-like replacement in the experienced Harbhajan Singh. While they do have quality overseas bowlers in Lungi Ngidi, Mark Wood, Mitchell Santner and Imran Tahir, it will be tough challenge for Dhoni to select the overseas combination. The presence of two quality three quality all-rounders in Bravo, Watson and Jadeja ought to ease the selection headaches a bit for the management.
The overall age of some of the international stars might make the team a bit of a dad’s army in the field, but one can definitely trust Dhoni to get the best out of this lost and make this team worthy of being title contenders.
Probable best XI – Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi
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