Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did not have a pleasing outing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The MS Dhoni-led side finished at the seventh spot of the standing after winning only six games in the season.
CSK missed the presence of their star player Suresh Raina, who opted himself out last year, citing personal reasons. However, ahead of the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league, Raina has returned to the squad.
Chennai Super Kings snapped up six players in the IPL 2021 auction, with their biggest buys were Krishnappa Gowtham and Moeen Ali, who were bought at INR 9.25 crore and INR 7 crore, respectively.
As the 2021 edition of the lucrative league is a week away, let’s have a look at the ideal playing XI for Super Kings in IPL 2021:
Openers: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad
Like the previous season, Faf du Plessis would open the innings with young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad. Du Plessis was the highest scorer for his franchise in IPL 2020. He had scored 449 runs in 13 innings at an average of over 40. Further, the former Proteas skipper is a terrific fielder as well, which comes as an additional advantage for CSK.
On the other hand, Gaikwad had a pretty good outing in his debut IPL season last year. He smashed three consecutive half-centuries and played a vital role in Super Kings’ revival towards the end of the season.
Middle-order: Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni
CSK’s most prolific run-scorer, Suresh Raina, is back in the squad for the IPL 2021. He missed the last edition due to personal reasons. For the upcoming season, Raina will occupy his regular position at number three.
Senior batsman Ambati Rayudu will also feature in the playing XI as a middle-order batsman. He had a decent IPL 2020, scoring 359 runs from 12 innings. Skipper MS Dhoni will follow the next position. Not to mention, Dhoni will take up the wicket-keeping duties as well. The three-time IPL winning captain was criticized in the last edition of IPL for his slow batting after scoring 200 runs from 14 games. Dhoni shall be looking forward to display his old-school avatar in IPL 2021.
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran
Three spots for the all-rounders are quite fixed in CSK in the form of Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and Sam Curran. The fourth on the list would be the new recruit, Moeen Ali. This will strengthen CSK’s lower order and eliminate bowling option worries as well.
Jadeja scored 232 runs from 14 matches and picked up six wickets in IPL 2020. Bravo, on the other hand, had played only six games and picked up six scalps.
However, Curran was the pick of the players for the ‘Yellow Army’. He scored 186 runs for his side and managed to bag 13 wickets from 14 fixtures. Speaking about Moeen, he has so far played 19 matches in IPL, scoring 309 runs and taking 10 scalps.
Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar had an average season in IPL 2020, where he only picked up 12 wickets from 14 games. But, Dhoni is known for placing a lot of faith in Chahar, so he is expected to get a place in the final XI for the 2021 edition as well.
Just like, Chahar, pacer Shardul Thakur also struggled to leave an impact in the previous season. He picked up 10 wickets from 9 matches, but his recent performance for Team India in the white-ball fixtures against England will give him the confidence to bowl much better in the upcoming season of IPL.
Here is Super Kings’ ideal playing XI:
- Faf du Plessis: Matches: 84; Runs: 2302; Avg: 32.88; HS: 96; 50’s: 16
- Ruturaj Gaikwad: Matches: 6; Runs: 204; Avg: 51; HS: 72; 50’s: 3
- Suresh Raina: Matches: 193; Runs: 5368; Avg: 33.34; HS: 100*; 100’s: 1; 50’s: 38
- Ambati Rayudu: Matches: 159; Runs: 3659; Avg: 29.50; HS: 100*; 100’s: 1; 50’s: 19
- MS Dhoni: Matches: 204; Runs: 4632; Avg: 40.99; 50’s: 23; 6’s: 216; Ct: 113
- Ravindra Jadeja: Matches: 184; Runs:2159; Wkt: 114; BF: 5/16; Econ: 7.67; 4w: 3 5w:1
- Dwayne Bravo: Matches: 140; Runs:1490; Wkt: 153; BF: 4/22; Econ: 8.40; 4w: 2; 5w:0
- Moeen Ali: Matches: 19; Runs:309; Wkt: 10; BF: 2/18; Econ: 7.13
- Sam Curran: Matches: 23; Runs: 281; Wkt: 23; BF: 4/11; Econ: 8.89 4w:1
- Deepak Chahar: Matches: 48; Wkt: 45; BF: 3/15; Econ: 7.62; Bowl SR: 22.22
- Shardul Thakur: Matches: 45; Wkt: 46; BF: 3/19; Econ: 8.92; Bowl SR: 19.58
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