Three-time Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings will be in a comfort zone at the auction for the 2020 season in Kolkata on December 19. One of the most consistent performers in the IPL, CSK has once again retained its core side and will have precious little in terms of price purse and player requirements.
CSK is the only side in the league that has stuck with one captain in their entire IPL run-up, which is a sign of a consistent think tank and has further led to very less of chopping and changing of the talent pool. Even during the season, skipper MS Dhoni does not tinker much with his playing XI as he believes in and backs his key players.
The Chennai Super Kings‘ biggest advantage is their strong Indian core, boasting of the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja among other big names. Needing to sign two overseas players from the player auction, expect the franchise to get into bidding wars for a few big names set to come under the hammer.
Even though most of the slots are filled and CSK appears a settled unit, the India Cement-owned franchisee management will have the option of adding only a few players to their roster. Here is a look at their various departments and what they might bid for in the auction in Kolkata on December 19.
The experience of Shane Watson and South African skipper Faf du Plessis at the top is a tried and tested formula for the men in yellow. Their experience is imperative for the Super Kings’ since their return to IPL in 2018. Having the likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayadu and MS Dhoni gives the team enough experience along with great stability in the middle. Murali Vijay gives them the option of a third opener but over the years, it is Rayadu who has filled that spot in the absence of the primary duo of Watson and Faf. Liberty of buying two foreign players in the auction gives them the possibility to use up one of them to buy a batsman. The likes of Chris Lynn, Eoin Morgan, Shaun Marsh, Tom Banton, and even domestic talent Rahul Tripathi will be on the minds of Stephan Fleming and co.
Another team who is heavily dominated by the all-rounders is Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni always likes to play with more all-rounders in T20 which deepens their batting and gives them a more alternatives as far as bowling is concerned. The quality of Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav, and Mitchell Santner is impeccable and they have been important members of the team for the past two years. Chipping in some more players of this category will boost their squad even more. Going into the auction CSK has options like Englishmen Sam Curran, former Super King Chris Morris, Colin de Grandhomme, Jalaj Saxena and so on. Since their spin department is perfectly set, they would like to go for all-rounders who bowl pace rather than spin.
Inexperienced fast bowling led by Deepak Chahar and Lungisani Ngidi needs quality support plus they will also require back up for the existing bowlers. To boost their pace department they have options in the form of Kiwi speedster Adam Milne, Tim Southee, West Indian duo Sheldon Cottrell and Kesrick Williams, Andrew Tye and so on. Also, due to the restriction of no more than four overseas players in one game, it’s the need of an hour for CSK management to look for domestic fast bowlers. Jaydev Unadkat is the one Indian bowler who yet again will be on the lookout for more than one franchisee. Shubham Ranjane, medium-pacer from Mumbai impressed one and all in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament 2019 and will definitely be on the cards of CSK management. However, Spin is one department where CSK will not spend much. They have a lot of experience in the form of veteran Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mitchell Santner.
Players to pick: 5 with up to two overseas talent. Salary Cap Available – ₹14.60 crores.
Despite a run till the final last season, CSK might want to plug a few gaps in their squad. Needing to sign two overseas players from the player auction, expect the franchise to get into bidding wars for a few big names set to come under the hammer.