Wednesday, May 25, 2022

CSK’s four puzzles to solve before next year’s season


After conceding a 7- wicket mauling by Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings all but out of the race for Playoffs. In the 10 matches this season, it was CSK’s 7th defeat that pushed them in bottom of the points table.

Though it’s not right to write off three-time champions as they still have an outside chance of making it to playoff, the tone in which captain MS Dhoni and CSK coach Stephen Flaming talked after the match it looks all but over for CSK this season.

Also Read – Yuvraj Singh announces his playoff contenders alongside DC and MI in IPL 2020

After CSK returned to IPL in 2018 post two-year ban, they prioritize experience instead of youth in mega-auction that year. The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo made the core of squad. The experienced campaigners did yield the result when CSK won the title in 2018 and make it to finals in 2019; but not investing in youth cost them on the big ground of UAE.

This year their batting looked out of fire and their bowling, which was handmade for the slow tracks of Chennai, lacked pace to trouble batsman in UAE. Absence of Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina, their two strong pillars in batting and bowling, hurt them badly as none of their replacement – N Jagdeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Piyush Chawla- performed well.

With the IPL 2020 all but over for CSK, the franchise owners will look to rebuildteam in next year’s mega auction. Here are a few key areas, CSK management will look to work on in next year auction

1. Top 3 batsman: With Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Murli Vijay and Faf du Plessis all in their late 30’s, CSK management will look to form a new top -3 looking at next 3-year cycle. CSK would like to target Tom Banton, Chris Lynn along with some Indian options in Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi andSurya Kumar Yadav to form a solid top-3 upfront.
2. Middle-order Puzzle: This will be huge challenge for CSK management as they have to find able replacements/options of Dhoni, Jadhav and Raina. If CSK management succeeds in securing wicket-keeper batsman Tom Banton, they would like to invest in local talents like Siddesh Lad, Rinku Singh along with foreign options in David Miller, Sherfane Rutherford, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis (if released).
3. Lower order all-rounder:

With Dwayne Bravo aging, CSK would look to add the likes of Chris Woakes, Mitchell Marsh, Harshal Patel to strengthen both bowling and batting. Daniel Sam and Keemo Paul could be the other options for partnering Sam Curran in lower order.

4. Death Bowler: This will be the biggest challenge for Chennai based franchise. With Deepak Chahar evolving every season, they will need someone with pace to partner him in death. Two of the emerging U-19 stars, Kartik Tyagi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti has shown that they have the guts to perform at top level and CSK management would like either or both of them in their setup.



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