The 13th season of Indian Premier League has been tough for three-times champions Chennai Super Kings. For the first time in IPL history, the MS Dhoni’s Dad’s army has found a place in the bottom of the points table. But now, with the announcement of Dwayne Bravo’s availability in the next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, their struggle days in the tournament could be soon gone.”He bowled well at the nets,” CSK CEO K.S Viswanathan had said. He has also shown trust in the team that just like old days day will bounce back in the tournament.
But the big question remains — Who goes out, if Bravo comes in on Friday against SRH at Dubai International stadium?
Option 1: Shane Watson
The veteran batsman has not had the best of the IPL starts. In three matches that Watson has played, he has scored just 51 runs. While many might criticize CSK for opting him to open for the team, one must not forget how he picked up the pace as the tournament progressed including his blistering 80 off 59 balls in the IPL 2019 finals. So it would just be fair to let the old warhorse take his time and adapt to the new conditions before starting to fire with the bat. Moreover, since Bravo cannot bat, it would be unwise to rest him.
Option 2: Faf du Plessis
If there is anyone besides, Sam Curran who is having a wonderful 2020 IPL season, it is Faf du Plessis. The Proteas is the third-highest scorer this season, with two fifties to his name. Moreover, he has been in great shape in terms of fielding too. The claim to the testament is his two catches on the long-on against Mumbai Indians in the season opener.
Option 3: Sam Curran
Sam Curran has been one of the better performers of CSK with bat and ball. The bowling all-rounder is the third-highest wicket-taker of the tournament behind Kagiso Rabadda of Delhi Capitals and Mohammed Shami of Kings XI Punjab. In three matches, Curran has chipped five wickets including three against Rajasthan Royals.
Option 4: Josh Hazlewood
As per IPL guidelines, only four overseas players can be included in the playing XI. CSK, in absence of Bravo, opted for Lungi Ngidi for the first two matches. The Proteas pacer played a pivotal role against Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener by chipping three wickets. However, it was a nightmare for him against Rajasthan Royals. He was the most expensive amongst the CSK bowlers conceding 56 runs.
MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming for the third match decided to bring in Josh Hazlewood against Delhi Capitals. The Australian medium-pacer conceded 28 runs. Out of the four options, he is the most likely one to be benched against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Probable XI: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazlewood/Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar