Defending champions Chennai super kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of IPL 2019. CSK retained most of their players for the league, hence they had a comparatively quiet auction. Before the IPL 2019 starts let’s have a look at the Pre-Tournament Best XI for Chennai Super Kings.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, kicked off the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 flaunting his familiar color – yellow and did it in style. Coming back into the IPL fold after a 2-year suspension, no doubt CSK were dwelling in their natural habitat, that is the top of the league table
They had only two signings in Mohit Sharma (₹5 cr) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (₹20L). Earlier in the auction, CSK were looking to rope in Jaydev Unadkat but they failed to do so as the pacer went to RR for 8 crores.
Trusted opening combination
One of the primary reasons why CSK has been the most consistent side in the IPL is because they have had some great openers in the past from Matthew Hayden to Mike Hussey and Brendon McCullum.
Even in the last season, they promoted Ambati Rayudu as an opener and he had scored over 600 runs including his maiden IPL century. The other opener Shane Watson also had a great season, scoring over 550 runs including a century in the final.
The Australian helped CSK chase down 178 runs inside 19 overs to win the title for the third time. Chennai will not tinker with this successful combo. Hence, the duo will continue to open in the 2019 season too. CSK also has Faf Du Plessis who can play the role of the back opener if needed.
Solid Middle order & all-rounders
At No.3, Suresh Raina showed yet again why he is the Mr. Dependable for CSK as he played a match-winning knock against Kings XI Punjab. He has had a bit of an up-and-down season but still scored 4 half-centuries. Raina has also now become the only batsman to score more than 300 runs in all the IPL seasons. Last season, he accumulated 391 runs in 13 games. The southpaw had an average of 39.10 with highest of unbeaten 75, which came against the Mumbai Indians.
One of the biggest reasons behind their success was their captain MS Dhoni. The veteran not only led CSK as a captain but performed brilliantly with the bat and behind the stumps too. He broke several records during a fantastic season. Dhoni has also surprised many with his great form in IPL 2018 scoring 455 runs in 15 matches last season with a strike rate above 150. He played some match-winning knocks for his side and smashed 30 sixes.
For a huge chunk of his cricketing career, the West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been instrumental in stopping the oppositions from taking the game away in the death overs due to some intelligent and well planned out bowling performances
Mitchell Santner missed the IPL season with the franchise last year after injury ruled him out of the tournament. Having recovered from his injury, Santner is all set to get back to competitive cricket. The all-rounder can be handy with both bat and well and slot in as the lead spinner in the side.
One aspect where Chennai Super Kings might struggle is the pace bowling department. The franchise consists of Mohit Sharma and Deepak Chahar who did a decent job last year. But they are not renowned T20 bowlers. But when we say that, even a mediocre bowler does well after wearing the yellow. Lungi Ngidi, the South African pacer could be the leader of the pack for his pace and height.
Pre-Tournament Best XI for Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, Lungi Ngidi