With the 2020 IPL season being the lowest point in the history of CSK, fans and experts alike are expecting a much better performance from the men in yellow in the 2021 IPL. Team selection will play a key role if CSK have to progress beyond the league stage. A crucial factor in determining an IPL team’s credibility is the selection of four overseas players. CSK have a fine blend of established veterans and young bloods when it comes to their overseas players and all of them possess the quality to be part of CSK’s first choice eleven. In this article, we will look at CSK’s best options to fill the four overseas slots. The players have been picked considering the fact that CSK will not play at their home ground of Chepauk throughout the IPL.
4. Lungi Ngidi
Ngidi’s debut season for CSK was simply outstanding due to various reasons. Primarily he played most of the games in a track tailor-made for spinners and yet always made a mark with his bowling. Also, he found a way to regularly deceive the opposition batsmen at the death with his slower deliveries. His record for South Africa has not been exceptional yet he still picks up a lot of wickets, thus compensating for his higher economy.
Due to injuries and team combinations, Ngidi has spent most of the past two seasons on the bench. But Dhoni’s men are expected to veer away from their spin heavy bowling attack this season and this could open up a slot for Ngidi.
3. Imran Tahir
One of the all-time great spinners in T-20 cricket, Tahir could still contribute a lot to the CSK outfit even at the age of 41. He has maintained a constant presence in the T-20 leagues around the world and recently played for Multan Sultans in PSL. He has picked up 80 wickets in his IPL career at a solid economy rate of 7.83.
After picking up 26 wickets in the 2019 season, he was limited to only three appearances in the 2020 IPL. He is expected to feature more frequently this season since CSK sold Chawla and Harbhajan Singh announced retirement.
2. Faf du Plessis
Faf has been a prominent member of the CSK side for a long time but 2020 IPL was his best season in the Indian Premier League. He scored 449 runs at a strike rate of 140 and was CSK’s best batsmen by a country mile.
IPL 2021 could be an important series in Faf’s career as he retired from Tests in order to focus more on shorter formats, particularly T-20 with the World Cup around the corner. Questions have been raised about his place in South Africa’s T-20 side amidst dwindling returns and this IPL could be Du Plessis’ answer to the critics.
1. Sam Curran
CSK’s find of the 2020 campaign was the diminutive yet classy southpaw from Surrey. Curran was Dhoni’s go-to man for all situations as he struck the perfect balance for an all-rounder and became a fan favourite. He was used as a pinch-hitting opener, a finisher, a death bowler and a new ball bowler as CSK were ready to test his full capability in various roles.
With Ruturaj Gaikwad cementing his place at the top, Curran is expected to don the hat of a finisher and a powerplay specialist with the ball as he was expensive with the ball at the death during IPL 2020.