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IPL 2019: Chennai Super Kings team analysis and fixtures

With the IPL 2019 around the corner, CSK appears to be ready to bag another IPL Trophy. Let's take a look at their current team strength.

RC
Last updated: 07.03.2019
Chennai Super Kings after winning IPL Trophy

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Chennai Super Kings are the oldest side of the IPL 2019 and had opted to make no changes to their squad during the auctions. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni side will start their campaign with a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on March 23. The team is heavily experienced and looks balanced on paper. Their 2018 campaign speaks a ton for the Yellow Brigade when they emerged as the champions after defeating SunRisers Hyderabad.


CSK is the most consistent team of the IPL and would be banking their hopes on Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni to get another title in their cabinet. However, the problem lies in the age of their squad. It would be interesting to see how the old warhorses fair against the much younger opponents.


GOOD BALANCE:

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Two key ingredients of CSK’s success in the 2018 campaign was the stability and balance of their playing XI. The team selection was at its level best, playing young pacers and experienced bowlers. Why was it a smart decision? It takes a high level of fitness in fast bowling and opting for young and talented legs for it is shrewd. Putting experienced spinners for middle overs to contain the runs makes them the strongest side in the shortest format of cricket.

 

CSK might play an unchanged playing XI from the final. It means Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis will open for CSK followed by Suresh Raina. Ambati Rayudu may take up the No.4 spot. MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo will comprise the middle order.

 

However, everything will not be jolly for the Chennai side. The conundrum of Kedar Jadhav would be something that will leave them scratching their head. Jadhav and Rayudu may fight for the No.4 spot. On one hand, Jadhav is good with the bat and can roll his arm in the middle overs, while on the other hand, Rayudu has been a player who has won CSK numerable matches from the near-impossible conditions.


 

 

Plenty of spin options and lack of overseas fast-bowlers:

Although the CSK management was criticized for buying a number of spinners during the IPL auction 2018, the tactic had worked wonders for the side. Letting go of the homeboy R Ashwin to Kings XI Punjab, they appeared to have found a replacement in the veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh.

 

Bhajji although did not have the best of IPL seasons, he sure was a crucial player in the initial stage for CSK last year. He has the ability to contain the opposition batting line-up and can also send the ball over the ropes at will. The former Indian spinner also brings in a lot of experience and a winning mentality with him, winning three IPL with Mumbai Indians.

However, he will face competition from leg-spinner Karn Sharma who made Bhajji sit out in the 2018 IPL final against SRH.

With Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja making it to the playing XI, there will be only one place left for a spinner.

As for the fast bowling department, although CSK did not sign any quality spinners, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur were able to fill the void. Both the pacers had a good season last year and shared a total of 26 wickets amongst themselves.

Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo will prove to be great support bowlers for the two Indians. Overall it is a balanced side with an ample of experience.


 

CSK key players: Shardul Thakur, and Shane Watson.

 

CSK 2019 team: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Billings, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi

 

 

CSK 2019 fixtures:

March 23, 2019

Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai

Stadium: M.A Chidambaram Stadium

Timing: 8:00 pm

 

March 26, 2019

Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings, Delhi

Stadium: Feroz Shah Kotla

Timing: 8:00 pm

 

March 31, 2019

Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Chennai

Stadium: M.A Chidambaram Stadium

Timing: 8:00 pm

 

April 3, 2019

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai

Stadium: Wankhede Stadium

Timing: 8:00 pm

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