The ‘experienced’ core, the focus as we look at the predicted 11 of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2020.
Chennai Super Kings had quite a unique outing at the IPL 2020 Auction. Except for Nathan Coulter-Nile, whichever player they wanted to purchase, they were able to purchase it. Be it Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, or Sam Curran.
While CSK already had a well-balanced squad, the addition of these potential players gives them a variety of team combinations to choose from. In simple terms, CSK have got a backup for almost every position in the team.
So, from the available pool of players, let’s look at the playing 11 combinations CSK can look at for IPL 2020.
The Solid Core
Among all the teams, only Chennai Super Kings are the ones who would be playing a line-up quite similar to their IPL 2018 or IPL 2019 line-up. Technically, this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how CSK invest in their players with a long-term focus.
If we analyze the team, the sure-shot contenders who should definitely make the playing 11 are MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, and Kedar Jadhav.
The other three players who would most likely be a part of the playing 11 are Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi. However, given the variety of backups CSK have, they can use these players to try varied combinations.
So, here’s the strongest line-up that CSK can look at from the available pool of players.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, and Lungi Ngidi.
Option 1: Sam Curran for Faf du Plessis
CSK have always been a team that invested a lot in all-rounders. We saw that in the past with Dwayne Bravo, Andrew Flintoff, Albie Morkel, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, etc.
Sam Curran, in that way, fits the bill perfectly for CSK. He showed the glimpses of his batting and bowling talent playing for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2019. He was good as the pinch-hitter, and even garnered a hat-trick in his first year in IPL.
While Faf du Plessis is an absolutely brilliant batsman, playing Sam Curran can actually improve their bowling arsenal. Moreover, Sam can also be used as a pinch-hitter at the top, the role he partially did for KXIP.
So, here’s the predicted playing 11 of CSK for IPL 2020 with Sam Curran as the fourth overseas player.
Shane Watson, Sam Curran, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, and Lungi Ngidi/ Imran Tahir.
Option 2: A Playing 11 for the Spin fortress
Chennai Super Kings are one team that rely heavily on their home conditions. We saw that with their performance over the years, and how difficult it has been to beat them at home. Even In IPL 2019, CSK won 6 of their 7 home matches, while winning only 3 away matches.
But, what makes them one of the most difficult sides to beat in their den? Well, it is the MS Dhoni mastermind and the slow nature of the Chennai pitch that favors spin a lot.
MS Dhoni uses his spin resources in such a brilliant way that the match mostly ends-up being a low-score affair, which CSK are master to chase or defend. In fact, the average first-innings score at Chennai in IPL 2019 was just 143.
With Piyush Chawla added to the squad, Chennai strengthened their spin arsenal even further. They now have numerous spin-bowling combinations available with them that will make them even more dangerous.
But, to accommodate their star spinners, either of Faf du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, or Ambati Rayudu would have to sit out. Given that Ambati Rayudu hasn’t had the bests of 2019 with the bat, he can be left out of the squad to accommodate an extra spinner.
So, here’s the strongest predicted 11 for CSK, specifically designed for their home matches:
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, and Imran Tahir.
That’s how Chennai Super Kings stand when it comes to their predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020. What changes you would have made to the playing 11? Do let us know in the comments section down below.
Wish you all a great new year 2020.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.