CSK’s spinners and medium-pacers, the focus as we look at the strongest predicted playing 11 of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE.
“Please note, the following article does not hold good anymore as Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh have withdrawn from IPL”.
The IPL 2020 has been shifted to UAE, and if we go by the history, Chennai Super Kings are one team who are likely to benefit the most with this move. The pitches in UAE are slightly on the slower side, very much similar to what Chennai has been producing the pitches for their home ground.
If you observe CSK’s squad, you would notice that they always prepare themselves or purchase players that are more suited to the home conditions. The team invests heavily on spinners and medium pacers, and rarely you would see pace battery in their squad, and IPL 2020 is no exception.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Squad for IPL 2020 UAE:
Batsmen: Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Murali Vijay, N Jagadeeshan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Suresh Raina
All-rounders: Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, and Shane Watson
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Monu Kumar, Piyush Chawla, R Sai Kishore, and Shardul Thakur
So, looking at the squad composition and pitches in UAE, what could be the strongest predicted playing 11 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2020. Let’s have a look in this article.
Shane Watson || Faf du Plessis
The last time CSK played in UAE, both their overseas openers, Dwayne Smith and Brendon Mccullum laid a solid platform for the middle-order in the 5 matches they played. This time around, they have another overseas pair, but in the form of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis.
On one hand, we have the aggressive Shane Watson, and on the other hand, we have the reliable Faf du Plessis. Watson has been shown tremendous faith by MS Dhoni and CSK management even when 2019 had seen a lull period from him in most of the group stage matches. But, his knocks in the knockouts showed why he is still a bit match player.
To be honest, Faf du Plessis is very underrated in the T20 format. He may not be a fierce hitter, but his knack of playing to his strengths has often made him a dangerous player for slow and low pitches. That’s exactly why he would be a key player for CSK in IPL 2020 UAE.
Suresh Raina || Ambati Rayudu || MS Dhoni (C)
Last time around in UAE in IPL 2014, Suresh Raina struggled to get going. He barely managed a 100 runs in the 5 innings he played with a strike rate hovering around 100s. MS Dhoni also managed only 90 runs, but his 150+ strike rate does indicate slow pitches do not bother him.
Ambati Rayudu has had a poor IPL 2019- way below his standards, but UAE pitches could well suit his style of play, and he can regain his golden touch. However, as a solid alternative, team management could also look to strengthen the bowling, and drop Rayudu. However, that looks a bleak probability at the moment.
So, if CSK decide to strengthen their batting, the middle-order trio of Raina, Rayudu, and Dhoni would be crucial for CSK if they have to continue making strides in IPL.
Shane Watson || Kedar Jadhav || Dwayne Bravo || Ravindra Jadeja
Kedar Jadhav and Shane Watson are two such all-rounders who haven’t been given as much bowling opportunities in IPL as they have got in International cricket. However, both are capable all-rounders in the squad, and can sneak in an over or two if required.
However, CSK’s main all-rounders are no doubt Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. The duo has been the backbone of CSK’s lower-order, and has often given the much-needed boost in crucial finishes. But, it is their bowling that has been their strength. On pitches of UAE, they could well be the key bowlers to watch out for.
Deepak Chahar || Imran Tahir || Harbhajan Singh
The medium-pacer, Deepak Chahar would be CSK’s go-to man on UAE’s pitches. His variations would be perfect for slow pitches, and if the pitch assists any swing, he would be more lethal. Moreover, the team also has Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, and Josh Hazlewood as backups, but they would mostly sneak-in for a few matches depending on the combination.
Imran Tahir was CSK’s best bowler in 2019, and looking at the pitches of UAE, he would be licking his fingers once again. While Piyush Chawla is also another good option and alternative to Tahir, CSK management would not want to play that gamble; initially at least.
The final toss-up would be between Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh. This is a tough one, and quality-wise, Piyush Chawla should get a nod ahead of Harbhajan, but Bhajji is quite different from Jadeja and Tahir, and the variety he brings in the attack means he should get a not ahead of Chawla.
So, that completes the strongest predicted playing 11 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the IPL 2020 UAE edition.
The Predicted 11 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE:
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, and Imran Tahir.
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