IPL 2019: 5 Players who can fulfill the opening duties for CSK this season

These players will be tipped to give good start to their team at some stage this season.

Shane Watson
Shane Watson. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Vaibhav Joshi

Freelancer Writer

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made a scintillating comeback to the Indian Premier League (IPL) after a two-year hiatus They became only the second team after the Mumbai Indias to win as many as three IPL titles. It was an all-round effort as each department put up its best in CSK’s road to the title glory.

However, one aspect that had a significant impact on their win was its explosive opening department. The combined effort of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson powered CSK with strong starts which turned out to be instrumental for them as it relieved a lot of pressure from the middle-order.

Nevertheless, this time around, the dynamics will be a bit different for the Men in Yellow. Considering the fatigue of players, they will be looking forward to resting a few players, especially their openers – Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson – for different reasons. Thus, in the upcoming edition of IPL, CSK will be keeping track of quite a few opening options.

Here we look at the five players who can fulfill those duties during the season:

1. Ambati Rayudu

MS Dhoni and surprises always go hand in hand, and in this regard, IPL 2018 was no different. The skipper amazed everyone when he decided to promote Ambati Rayudu up the order and made him open the innings. The move turned out to be quite beneficial for both CSK and the right-handed batting prodigy.

No questions asked Ambati had a terrific run in the previous edition notching up a mammoth 602 runs at an excellent average of 43.00 and a strike-rate just under 150.00. In the process, he also scored three gritty fifties and a solitary hundred. Moreover, with 602 runs up his sleeve, the Andhra Pradesh batsman stood as the fourth highest run-getter in the league.

Thus, having had majestic numbers as an opener in IPL 2018, Chennai will undoubtedly be persisting with Rayudu as their desired choice at the top.

2. Shane Watson

Alongside Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson had an outstanding run in the IPL 2018 as well. The veteran batting all-rounder from Australia had an influential role to play in the team’s triumph. If Rayudu played the role of a stabilizer, Watson played an aggressor to get the team off to great starts in almost every game.

The Queensland-born opener featured in 15 games and went on to amass 555 runs at a decent average of 39.64 and a high strike-rate of 154.59. Besides, he also punched two fifties and two outstanding centuries in the league. Shane seems to have held his excellent form as he turned out to be the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded PSL.

The Australian prodigy, while hitting four fifties, amassed 430 runs in PSL 2019. Much so, his batting performances turned out to be instrumental in Quetta Gladiator’s road to their first-ever PSL title. Thus, with an excellent form by his side, CSK would be hoping to extend Watson’s lease as an opener in the coming edition of IPL.

3. Faf du Plessis

The South African skipper, Faf du Plessis, failed to start the previous season on a cheerful note as he missed quite a few matches owing to an injury. Nevertheless, he managed to make a comeback with some decent performances for his team straightaway.

Faf du Plessis‘ best knock of the season came against SRH in the Qualifier 1 where he scored an unbeaten 67 off 42 balls to take CSK into the finals. All in all, Faf starred in six games last year and mustered 162 runs at an average of 32.40 and a strike-rate of 125.58.

Hence, while going into the 12th edition, he will be eager to put up similar kind of performances for the yellow army. Thus, while rotating their players, the Chennai management will surely consider him at some point in the league.

4. Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay, a right-handed batting vista from Chennai, has been at the camps of CSK for a good time now. After having served KXIP during the franchise’s hiatus, Chennai acquired him back ahead of the 2018 edition of the tournament. However, the Tamil Nadu-born batsman didn’t get many chances as he played only a solitary game.

Nonetheless, this time around, he seems to be in good form which pretty much was the case in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Having played four games for TN in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019, Vijay scored 261 runs at a marvellous average of 61.25 and a strike-rate of 148.29.

With decent form around his neck, CSK will undoubtedly be looking at Vijay as an efficient opening candidate this season at some stage. Although he will not be making it to the final XI on a consistent basis, Vijay will unquestionably be a legitimate backup option for the team in the IPL 2019.

5. Narayan Jagadeesan

Narayan Jagadeesan happens to be a prospective opening batsman hailing from Tamil Nadu. The prodigious right-handed batsman for long has been an influential part of his state team across all the domestic tournaments. Jagadeesan shot to fame after a prosperous tourney in the 2016 edition of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).

He opened the innings on eight occasions in TNPL 2016 and amassed 397 runs at an astounding average of 56.71. He also struck five fifties in the same season. Moreover, with 397 runs, he also finished as the highest run-scorer in the same season. Narayan continued his dream run and had an impressive stint for Tamil Nadu in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2017-18.

Hence, on the back of his majestic performances, the talented batsman managed to strike a deal with CSK for IPL 2018. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a game. Nonetheless, he will be hoping to open a few innings for CSK in the forthcoming edition. Moreover, with the 2019 World Cup on the cards, CSK management will be looking forward to resting Rayudu in a few games which in turn would make way for Jagadeesan as an opener.

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