IPL 2019: Chennai Super Kings Predicted XI
CSK will be confident of defending the title with this playing XI next season.
Updated - Dec 22, 2018 2:44 pm
The Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 12th edition saw the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) adding only two players to their squad. They had only those many slots available to complete their line-up of 25 and the Yellow army showed their faith in Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad. They were struggling with their bowling in the last season and it was evident that they badly wanted a good pace bowler.
Despite bidding highly for Jaydev Unadkat, the franchise couldn’t secure his services and had to spend a whopping amount of Rs 5 crores for Mohit. On the other hand, the batsman Gaikwad was a steal deal for them at a base price of Rs 20 lakhs. CSK looked happy with the players they managed to pick and the fact that they retained 23 from the title-winning squad proves that the franchise is confident of defending it in the next season.
Their previous season was marred with injuries to key players and despite that, the Men in Yellow always had someone or the other to bail the team out of the trouble. With all the players fit, it will be interesting to see how MS Dhoni picks the best XI at the start of the tournament.
Here we bring you CSK’s predicted XI:
Openers (Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu)
Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu was one of the best opening pairs in the IPL. More often than not, the duo helped the team get off to a scintillating starts and one of them used to play a big knock as well. Watson played his best knock in the final to win CSK the title famously in their comeback year. Though there are doubts about him going the distance next year, the former Australian cricketer will definitely walk into the playing XI.
Ambati Rayudu came back into the Indian team on the back of some superb knocks in the cash-rich league. He was in the purple patch during the competition and will be expected to don the opener’s hat at least at the start. Rayudu is flexible enough to bat in the middle-order as well and if that is the case, then Faf du Plessis might open with Watson.
Middle-Order (Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav)
Suresh Raina aka Mr IPL wasn’t at his best last season but still managed to amass more 445 runs in 15 matches. He will once again be the key for them at number three in the line-up. Raina is a delight to watch when he gets going and the left-hander would look to improve his strike-rate of 132 from the previous edition. MS Dhoni will most probably come out to bat at four and this will be the most important phase for him.
With the World Cup in sight, the veteran will look polish off his batting skills and his fans will be hoping that he pummels the bowlers to instill fear in the minds of the other teams in the showpiece event in England. Kedar Jadhav, the best utility player in the shortest format, walks into the team if fit. He won CSK the opening game with injury and was then ruled out but he will definitely be part of the playing XI next season when the tournament commences.
All-Rounders (Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja)
Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are two of the core members of CSK. Without them, the team looks incomplete and the duo has proved their worth time and again. Dhoni brought the best out of his Caribbean friend last season despite entering the IPL without much form. Bravo ended up with 14 wickets to his name though he would’ve loved a better economy. The experienced T20 cricketer was also good with the bat and he was the reason why CSK began the IPL on a winning note.
Jadeja was the most baffling pick in almost all the matches. Despite not performing consistently on a repeated basis, Dhoni preferred the left-arm spinner always. Termed as Dhoni’s favourite, Jaddu only improved as the season progressed and was the X-factor in the team when it came to fielding grabbing a total of 11 catches. He was also the third-most economical bowler for CSK in the tournament and it is no surprise that he will make it to the playing XI for the team’s opening game.
Bowlers (Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, Mohit Sharma, Lungi Ngidi)
Deepak Chahar was one of the surprise packages of the season in IPL 2018. His ability to swing the ball away from the right-hander impressed Dhoni and barring a few matches which he missed due to injury. Chahar also made it to India’s ODI and T20I teams and played one game in each format. Another good season will make him a regular feature in the national side post the 2019 World Cup.
Mohit Sharma is an ex-CSKian. He played under MS Dhoni in 2015 World Cup and performed exceptionally well when very few gave him a chance. He will be thrilled to be part of the family again and would be eager to live up to the price tag of Rs 5 crores.
Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi are two of the best players in the T20 format at the moment. They will undoubtedly be part of the team to start the defence of the title. Both will more often than not complete their quota of four overs and pick wickets. With so many options available, the team management might also prefer Sam Billings in the line-up ahead of Tahir.