Shane Watson’s replacement, the focus as we look at three players Chennai Super Kings (CSK) might target for the IPL 2021 Auction.
One of the most consistent sides in the history of IPL, the Chennai Super Kings had the worst year in the history in 2020 where they were not qualified for the play-offs for the first time ever. The Yellow army finished 7th on the points table having won 6 of their 14 group stage matches. While the team performance was bad, CSK’s dependable, MS Dhoni too had a poor season with the bat.
However, even after finishing 7th, CSK didn’t do many changes in the team having retained 19 players, and losing Watson, who retired from all forms of Cricket. That’s the speciality of CSK, which has always believed in showing faith in their players even if their performance wasn’t up to the mark.
So, having released quite a few players ahead of Auction, CSK currently have a total of 19 players in their rooster including 7 overseas players. The team has a good balance overall with good players and backups in each category. However, there’s one area in which the team might invest, and that is the top-order. Shane Watson’s void at the top would prompt CSK to look for a replacement for him.
CSK’s Retained Squad ahead of IPL 2021 Auction:
Total Retained Players: 19 // Total Overseas Players: 7 // Total Purse Available: INR 19.9 Cr.
Batsmen: Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (C&WK), N Jagadeesan (WK), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa (WK), and Suresh Raina.
All-rounders: Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, and Sam Curran.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, R Sai Kishore, and Shardul Thakur.
If we observe, CSK currently have INR 22.9 crores in their kitty, which is a good amount to get a few good players. Given the availability of good overseas in the Auction pool, CSK might look to invest heavily in one of the top-order players. On that note, here’s a list of 3 players that CSK might target in the IPL 2021 Auction.
#3: Aaron Finch
Australia’s limited-overs captain, Aaron Finch hasn’t had the bests of IPL performance over the years. He has played for as many as 8 franchises including Adhoc teams like Pune Warriors and Gujarat Lions, but never had a defining moment year for any of them. He was also released earlier this year by RCB on account of poor performance in IPL 2020 and high cost.
However, CSK could just be the team he has been looking for over the years. MS Dhoni has the tendency to bring out the best from his resources, and Finch might find his mojo in IPL, playing for CSK. Moreover, he seems a good replacement for Shane Watson at the top, who had retired from the game post IPL 2020 tournament.
#2: Sam Billings
The former Whistle Podu member, Sam Billings has registered himself for IPL 2021 Auction after skipping the tournament in 2020. He was a part of the 2018 champions, Chennai Super Kings, and played a decent role for them. With CSK currently having MS Dhoni as the primary keeper and backup keeper as N Jagadeesan, Billings could add a lot of value.
Having Sam Billings in the side, CSK would not only get a good top-order & middle-order batsman but also a good back-up keeper. He is also a regular feature in the England limited-overs side, and his past experience can be beneficial to the CSK side. Hence, Sam Billings could be a hot target for CSK in the Auction.
#1: Dawid Malan
In the absence of Suresh Raina, there were rumours that Dawid Malan could replace him. While that’s not technically possible to replace an Indian player with an Overseas player, the headlines did grab a lot of eyeballs ahead of the IPL 2020 tournament.
Nevertheless, with CSK having just 1 overseas spot left, and that has to go to a top-order player Ideally, the World Number 1 T20I batsman, Dawid Malan could well be on CSK’s target list. He has been in great form, and has the right mixture of aggression and defence. With him at the top alongside Faf or Ruturaj, CSK’s batting outfit would look extremely strong.
So, these are the players CSK could target in the IPL 2021 Auction. Their pain point is top-order players, and apart from these valuable 3 options, CSK may also look for Jason Roy, James Vince, Alex Hales, Martin Guptill, etc.
Thank you so much for reading the article! Which players should Chennai Super Kings (CSK) target in the IPL 2021 Auction? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.