Chennai Super Kings, the 3-time Indian Premier League champions, perhaps weren’t looking for too much from the auction. They had released 6 players and roped in 4 from the auction. Their core squad is pretty much the same. Call them the old horses but they more often than not finish ahead of others. Let’s take a look at the best XI for Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2020.
Experience right through
CSK has backed Shane Watson for a couple of seasons despite the Australian batsman having retired from international cricket. The right-hander has repaid the faith on plenty of occasions. He scored a match-winning hundred in the IPL 2018 final. Also, he almost won them successive titles with his knock in the final last year.
To accompany Watson, there are a couple of options. Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu have opened the innings for CSK in the recent past. While Rayudu has done well at the top, the way du Plessis and Watson contrast themselves works better for the Men in Yellow. Rayudu is well equipped to bat in the middle order and so, he might find a place at No.4.
No.3 in CSK is Suresh Raina‘s spot. He has batted there all these years and has an unmatched record. If a wicket falls early, Raina is there to do the containing job. If the openers flourish, the southpaw can carry the momentum forward.
Then, the skipper MS Dhoni arrives for the late guidance. This year, it’s going to be even more crucial for the veteran as this edition could well define where his international career is headed. Dhoni has been an inseparable part of CSK. Since the first edition of the league, the franchise has been identified by one man.
The Chennai franchise has always possessed some of the finest all-rounders in the league. That is why they have such a daunting record in tournament history. With the presence of Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja, the team is assured of some fireworks down the order. Also, the Chennai pitch has a history of assisting spinners. While Jadeja is a regular 4-overs bowler, Jadhav can prove to be handy with his never arriving off-spinners.
Dwayne Bravo has been associated with CSK for an eternity. The world is aware of his power-hitting during the slog overs. He has won several matches for his team from virtually impossible situations. Also, he owns great skills with the ball for the death overs.
Plenty of options with the ball
CSK has a large pool of bowlers to choose from. First, let’s talk about spin. Imran Tahir was outstanding last year. Even though the age is catching up, his skills with the variations in the bowling haven’t diminished one bit. The Super Kings invested heavily in Piyush Chawla in the auction. His direct competition would be with Tahir. Based on international experience, Tahir might get the nod ahead of the Indian counterpart.
The two Indian seamers are almost assured of a place in the line-up. Deepak Chahar has grown in stature in the year gone by. Shardul Thakur also has bowled with pace and has made useful contributions with the bat. But that’s not all. In the pace department, there are a few other options too.
Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran are the other 3 quality overseas seamers. If any of these has to come into the side, Dwayne Bravo might miss out. The other candidate to sit out could be Faf du Plessis which would promote Ambati Rayudu to the opening slot. Chawla in for Tahir could be the other option. We might see this kind of rotation during the course of the tournament. But for the starters, this could be the best possible line-up.
Best XI for Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2020
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.