Middle-order, the highlight as we look at the strengths and weakness(es) of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2019.
If we had to identify the most consistent side in the Indian Premier League, it must be the Chennai Super Kings. The MS Dhoni-inspired side have won three IPL titles, and have qualified for playoffs, nine out of nine times; the most by any team.
Coming to the IPL 2019 campaign, Chennai Super Kings already retained most of their squad from 2018. They had just one pain point to address in the IPL Auction, and they solved that by adding Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad to their squad.
So, let’s try to identify the strengths and weakness(es) of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 2019.
Chennai Super Kings had two new openers last year, and both performed extremely well. The duo of Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu will once be expected to give awesome starts at the top. In case they decide to open Shane Watson with Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu will be drafted to the number four position. Murali Vijay and Ruturaj Gaikwad are decent backup options to have.
When you have Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, and Dwayne Bravo in the middle-order option, it is difficult to not include this in the list of strengths. The combination of IPL’s leading run-getter, Suresh Raina, and IPL’s most successful captain, MS Dhoni is as valuable as the RCB’s combination, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Sam Billings, and Dhruv Shorey provide valuable back-ups for the CSK
How can you not mention this category in the side full of all-rounders? CSK are probably the only side who can play four to five all-rounders at once in the playing eleven. Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kedar Jadhav provide for superb batting and bowling options. Mitchell Santner, David Willey, and Chaitanya Bishnoi provide good backup options for the side.
While Chennai Super Kings is a side full of strengths, there is a gray area in their squad
I might sound too harsh if I have to point this out, but Chennai Super Kings have a slightly weaker spin bowling attack. Imran Tahir, their lead spinner might find it difficult to draft himself in the squad owing to limitations on overseas combinations.
Ravindra Jadeja, whom MS Dhoni hardly used in the last IPL would be leading this squad in the spin bowling department alongside either of Karn Sharma or Harbhajan Singh with both not reliable spinners. It would be interesting to see how MS Dhoni uses Mitchell Santner, who was out of IPL last year.
Overall, if there is one side I can confidently say can win IPL this year, it is the Chennai Super Kings. They have the best squad on paper, and MS Dhoni’s side would want to create history by winning their fourth IPL title.
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Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics with over 20 years of experience following Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what Football is to Lionel Messi, Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar, Dancing is to Michael Jackson, and Acting is to Clint Eastwood.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.