Well the second team in my team preview is the runners of previous year edition Chennai Super Kings ( CSK). The team has the greatest fan following because of Thalla , the Captain Cool no. 7 M.S. Dhoni who can win matches on his own. Each year the team has played there is a hero and often known as Daddy’s Army because of age of players in the team but it is most consistent team in the tournament. The title for them is apt as whenever the tournament starts they make into the playoff very easily. So can we say that this year also they will make it????
Hold on, the team has seen some events before the start of the tournament. The sudden exit of Suresh Raina ( who I believe will come back after some games) before the start of the tournament due to personal reasons, then there were news of players ( Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad) being tested positive from Covid along the staff members which made the quarantine period increase for the entire team from one week to additional week which makes the team may have had less practice. The pitches had elements of spin but then again Harbhajan Singh opted out of the tournament of the personal reasons too, which makes the team balance a bit affected.
So what do I have to say about the current setup of players in the team. I think this time with the absence of main players like Raina in the team, the time will have to play more than just better cricket as they say to make in the playoff. MS.Dhoni, the magician with bat, wicket-keeping and no doubt the captain will be prime focus as the player has retired just now and hasn’t played a competitive match since World Cup 2019, which makes an interesting to watch but he is Dhoni and he can do something which is impossible , Possible!!!. Spin will be the key and CSK have them in plenty and in experience.
There will be role for Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayadu, even Shane Watson in batting, the purchase of Sam Curran is an interesting pick as they already have Dwayne Bravo do the same role of all rounder but with Raina not there in the line-up what if Sam Curran comes to bat up at No.3 and play some blinders which eases the absence of Raina in the team. Dhoni should bat higher may be No.4 again as he will take time and play some games till the end . Imran Tahir(age 40) will be the 1st spinner in the team as the pitches will suit him and we might see him doing the running celebration too this year and they have the services of Piyush Chawla in the team too this year. The fast bowler Deepak Chahar ( who looks fully fit after being tested positive) will be the opening bowler . The four overseas players can be Watson, Bravo, Tahir and choice between a pacer in form of Josh Hazelwood or Lungi Ngidi or an extra spinner in form of Mitchell Santner who is a brilliant fielder too in the outfield.
So all in all let's try and figure out a probable eleven with this team.
Captain & Wicket keeper - M.S. Dhoni
Openers - Murli Vijay ( I know he is a test player but then with Raina’s absence need someone to play at the top ) and Shane Watson who might play some match winning innings with bat as he is now a pure batsman in the time. Can they go for Faf Du Plessis ( I don't think they should)
Middle Order - Ambati Rayadu at No. 3 has to deliver the tournament as a best batsman taking Raina’s role. M.S. Dhoni at No. 4 ( don’t know why I feel this will be the trick of the tournament of the team). Kedar Jadhav at No.5 will be the fulcrum for the team who can bat as per the team needs and might surprise us with his bowling too. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo at No. 6 and 7 will provide the necessary finishing blows at the end.
Tail - Piyush Chawla & Deepak Chahar will the Indian bowlers who will make in the set up provided they don’t want to go for Shardul Thakur as a batsman who can deliver big blows with bat in the end but hold one what about his bowling it is slightly on the weaker end. Imran Tahir makes in the line up but will be interesting to watch what the team balances in the end, will it be the Sam Curran/ Mitchell Santner ( the all rounders but don’t you find they are too many) or Josh Hazelwood to bowl the wicket to wicket line or go for pace in the form of Lungi Ngidi.