Chennai Super Kings suffered their worst performance in IPL 2020, and they will be eager to change the scenario in IPL 2021. CSK finished at the 7th spot in the points table in IPL 2020, their worst show ever in the tournament.
Chennai Super Kings had six slots to fill and they spent their money wisely at the IPL 2021 auction targeting specific players without breaking the bank. They signed off-spinning all-rounders Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham, along with a few young Indian talents and veteran batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.
CSK will aim to put the demons of their IPL 2020 campaign behind them, and start afresh on their quest to pull level with the Mumbai Indians as the most successful franchise in league history.
Here’s the strongest Chennai Super Kings playing XI after the IPL 2021 Auction:
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
After a highly disappointing start to his IPL career, Ruturaj Gaikwad came into his own towards the end of CSK’s season. In the five matches, he scored 204 runs for the Super Kings. This meant that he stood up to MS Dhoni’s trust and therefore became the anchor of the Chennai Super Kings batting lineup. With strong performances, he solidified his place in the batting lineup.
2. Faf Du Plessis
Faf du Plessis has done enough over the years at Chennai based franchise to not lose his spot. The recently retired Test cricketer, who had top-scored for Chennai Super Kings last season, had amassed a total of 2,088 runs in 70 innings at an average and strike rate of 33.14 and 129.53 respectively for them.
3. Ambati Rayudu
After Shane Watson’s retirement, Ambati Rayudu comes as the best option at number 3 for Chennai Super Kings. The right-handed batsman has the ability to perform under pressure. In last season, Rayudu was the second-highest run-getter for Chennai Super Kings, hitting 359 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 127+. Ambati Rayudu is a better option in the opening slot for CSK than Robin Uthappa.
4. Suresh Raina
It would not be a surprise if Suresh Raina makes a return at number 4 in the Chennai based franchise. Despite him having played limited competitive cricket in the last two years or so, the left-hand batsman continues to be a pivotal part of Super Kings. Talking about his experience, he has played in 193 IPL matches so far. During his career, he has scored 5368 runs with a healthy strike rate of 137.14. And there has been no season in which Raina has scored less than 350 runs! Talk about an impactful player, well Raina will top the charts!
5. MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni will slot in at No. 5 in IPL 2021. MS Dhoni has announced his retirement from international cricket and the IPL tournament is the only league where the Indian legend can showcase his skills. No one can lead to CSK better than MS Dhoni at present. Moreover, MS Dhoni is the best option for wicket-keeper in the team.
6. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is currently suffering from injury and he was out of India vs England series. Jadeja has played over 184 IPL matches since 2008. While batting lower down the order, he has scored over 2159 runs with a decent strike rate of 126.47. And his batting technique has been improving every year, which means that only an injury can force him to warm the benches.
7. Sam Curran
Sam Curran was the top performers for the Chennai Super Kings last year. The English all-rounder was bought in by the Punjab franchise for INR 7.2 crore. However, he didn’t get enough opportunities and was later released from the squad. Then, the CSK management offered him INR 5.5 crore and the rest is history for Curran!
In the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League when all the other players failed for Chennai, Curran stood up and played exceptionally well. Of the 14 matches he played, Curran scored 186 runs and took 13 wickets. While bowling during the powerplay overs, he managed to put the batsmen under pressure. Apart from that, Curran is an excellent fielder and this helps him to cement his place in the squad.
8. Moeen Ali
English all-rounder Moeen Ali was the only overseas player CSK bought in IPL 2021 auction as they were left with only one overseas player slot. Moeen Ali has spent a lot of time on Asian soil in the recent time during England’s tour of Sri Lanka and India. Ongoing England’s tour of India 2021 will provide more training to the batting all-rounder Moeen Ali on Indian soil. This will help him in the forthcoming IPL 2021 tournament.
9. Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar has become a leading pacer for Chennai Super Kings over time. Last season, he took 12 wickets in 14 matches. The seamer has picked up 45 wickets with an average of 28.24. As he bowls during a crucial phase of the game, where the batsmen like to decimate a bowling attack, Chahar has a strike rate of 22.22. Well, as he played for the CSK franchise, he has grown as a bowler. And a national side call-up also speaks volumes about his ability.
10. Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur will be another good pick in the bowling department. He was one of CSK’s better performers last season, even though he had only 10 wickets in 9 games at an economy rate of 8.5 to show for. He almost always got the ball to talk and nailed a few slower balls and wide yorkers at the death. He was part of the ODI and T20I Indian team in the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2020-21. He is still making it to the national team which proves his ability in bowling. He will provide great assistance to Deepak Chahar in the bowling department.
11. Lungi Ngidi
South African pacer will be the best option for Chennai in the overseas category to support the bowling department. He has great pace in his bowling which will help to dominate the batsmen. Along with Lungi Ngidi’s addition to the bowling department, CSK will have a spectacular pace bowling attack in the opening game.
Chennai Super Kings made the most of the auction for the 14th season of the Indian Premier League by spending a total of INR 17.35 crore on six players.