Chennai Super Kings will look to make amends to their mediocre show last year with a strong comeback in IPL 2021. The management has begun the good work by doing an effective job at the auctions. It is now in the hands of the players and the backroom staff to deliver the goods on the field.
Batting was an issue for Chennai Super Kings last season. Barring Faf du Plessis at the start and Ravindra Jadeja at the end, no batsmen were consistent for the three-time champions throughout IPL 2020. While they have addressed their concerns to an extent in the trade window and at the auctions, they will anyways look to also alter the balance of the playing XI towards the batsmen. On that note, here is the strongest possible XI for CSK in IPL 2021.
Openers: Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad
At the back end of IPL 2020, CSK found stability in the opening combination of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad. While Faf will yet again occupy his slot, there might have been concerns regarding Ruturaj given his underwhelming form in the domestic competitions. However, it will be unfair on the Maharashtra player if he is dropped for the initial games. CSK is one franchise that likes to back their players, and they might stick with their strategy at least for the start of IPL 2021.
Middle-Order: Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (C&WK) and N Jagadeesan
Batting in the middle-order was one of the main reasons for CSK’s glim show in UAE last year. The scoring rate was too low, and the intent to play attacking cricket was not seen.
CSK will look to improve this aspect in IPL 2021. Suresh Raina will return to the squad, and that will be a massive boost. Robin Uthappa is in glorious form and could be chosen ahead of Ambati Rayudu in the playing XI.
As usual, MS Dhoni will be the fulcrum of this department. To this experienced group, CSK could also add the name of N Jagadeesan. The Tamil Nadu cricketer likes to open the batting but may have to do a different duty for his home-franchise.
All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran
Chennai Super Kings will boast of a world-class all-rounders’ department for IPL 2021. Ravindra Jadeja will headline this group which also consists of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran.
While Ali will add more steel to the batting unit, Curran’s role would be to bowl the death overs. Jadeja will have to contribute to both the departments of the game. There are also very impressive backups in this department. Record signing K Gowtham, Dwayne Bravo and Kiwi all-rounder Mitchell Santner might also come into the squad based on the pitch conditions.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar and Imran Tahir
Deepak Chahar and Imran Tahir will complete the XI for CSK. Chahar has been part of the CSK squad for a while now and will have an important role to play in IPL 2021. His role is to pick wickets at the start, and if he does that, the Rajasthan cricketer could also make his road to the Indian Team smoother.
Playing in probably his final IPL season, Imran Tahir would want to make the upcoming campaign memorable. He is a genuine wicket-taker and can turn games very quickly. However, if he is not up to the mark, CSK could make changes to replace him with Santner or a pacer.