IPL 2022 will start on March 26th with the encounter between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Incidentally, these two teams had faced in the final of IPL 2021. The feature of the first few weeks in this edition will be availability issues. Hence, the playing XI’s would not be full-strength. On that note, in this article, we predict the strongest possible Chennai Super Kings playing XI for the opening game against KKR.
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway are likely to be the openers in the Chennai Super Kings playing XI for the opening game against KKR. Although there were concerns about his injury, it is reported that Ruturaj is fit for the opener. The winner of the Orange Cap in IPL 2021, Rutu will play an important role in this line-up. Meanwhile, there will be a new opening partner for the Maharashtra batter. Kiwi cricketer Devon Conway will take Faf du Plessis’ spot in the XI. The CSK fans will be curious to see how he goes about.
Middle-Order: Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni (C&WK)
The middle-order will wear a similar look for the first game, or for that matter, for the entire campaign. However, the major absence in the first encounter will be Moeen Ali, who is stuck in England due to Visa issues. Hence, the prominence will be on the likes of Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu to do well in the middle-overs.
All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Dwayne Bravo
Like every campaign, CSK has a slew of all-rounders who will add depth to both the batting and the bowling units. Ravindra Jadeja will be the designated finisher while Shivam Dube is the new entrant to this group. It would not be a surprise if Shivam is promoted to play at Moeen Ali’s No.3 slot, at least for the first encounter.
In Deepak Chahar’s absence, U19 star Rajvardhan might take the new ball although the likes of Tushar Deshpande or KM Asif could also get a look in. As usual, Dwayne Bravo will be the go-to man at the death.
Bowlers: Adam Milne and M Theekshana
In Moeen Ali’s absence, the team needs another spinner. Therefore, Sri Lankan mystery spinner M Theekshana could get a chance. In the pace department, it will be a toss-up between Chris Jordan and Adam Milne. However, the Kiwi might be preferred for his pace.