Led by the modern-day great MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings, over the years, have been one of the most consistent teams in the Indian Premier League. Having played as many as eight IPL finals in 13 seasons of the tournament, the franchise has won the title thrice. The people’s favourite, however, failed to repeat the heroics in 2020 after the tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chennai Super Kings finished 7th on the points table last year and would want to turn the tables for a better campaign. The franchise would also be hoping to benefit from the return of star batsman Suresh Raina and new entrants Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Moeen Ali.
Chennai Super Kings are a team that likes to keep its core intact. While the approach has received criticism in recent times as the ‘core’ continues to age, MS Dhoni & Co. will, once again, bank on their seasoned cards. The squad for IPL 2021 includes CSK regulars like Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, and Dwayne Bravo.
Additionally, the franchise has the services of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jason Behrendorff, Cheteshwar Pujara, and others to forget the flop show of 2020 and aim at their fourth IPL championship. Also, will IPL 2021 be MS Dhoni’s final appearance at the grand stage? Though the team management has denied the rumours, fans will have to wait for an official announcement from Dhoni himself or the next season to solve the mystery.
Will the MS Dhoni-led franchise bounce back at IPL 2021 after the failures of the previous season? Many of the fans and pundits say Chennai Super Kings lack the mettle to emerge victorious at the 14th edition of IPL. So, are we going to witness a roaring Chennai Super Kings at IPL 2021, or will it be a repeat of 2020’s flop show? We await to find out!
There is ample experience in the ranks of Chennai Super Kings. The likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, DJ Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, and Robin Uthappa have played the majority of IPL seasons. Moreover, pacers in Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, and Shardul Thakur have also evolved at the franchise over the years.
New recruits like Moeen Ali, Jason Behrendorff, and Krishnappa Gowtham, along with youngsters Ruturaj Gaikwad, K Bhagath Varma, and others, would also want to shine on the grand stage. With plentiful experience and some young blood at their disposal, Chennai Super Kings may very well turn the tide and make IPL 2021 their own.
As we mentioned earlier, Chennai Super Kings feature some ageing stars. Furthermore, besides the age factor, most of these experienced campaigners lack the much-needed match practise before a tournament of IPL’s stature. Skipper MS Dhoni struggled last year in the UAE, while Suresh Raina failed to put on a show at the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Both Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu haven’t played much cricket of late, and the lack of match practise may, again, hamper their performance at the tournament. CSK have relied quite a bit on their spin department in the past. This year, however, the franchise will play at neutral venues and want its pace battery to click for favourable results.
CSK are known for making slow starts in the IPL. The franchise, however, would want to hit the right combination from the word go and make a good start in the league phase this season. Dhoni and his men must be looking forward to their 9th final this year. Since the team won’t play too many games on spin-friendly tracks, pacers can grab the opportunity and shine for their franchise.
Faf du Plessis is the only overseas batter in the lineup, which means Indian batsmen will have to punch and punch hard to give CSK big totals and successful chases during the tournament. Indian batsmen like Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, and Cheteshwar Pujara, along with uncapped players N Jagadeesan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, would want to make the most of this opportunity ahead of them.
The Chennai-based franchise was let down by some poor display of batting in the previous season of IPL. If Dhoni and his men are eyeing the trophy at IPL 2021, the batting unit at the franchise will have to click and prevent a repeat of the previous tournament.
Pacers at CSK will have to step up and take their team over the line on non-spinning tracks. Picking the best playing XI will also prove to be a headache for the management. With all of Sam Curran, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Lungi Ngidi, Jason Behrendorff, and Imran Tahir being good contenders, CSK will have to make some wise decisions.
MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will lock horns with young and flamboyant Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals in their opening fixture of the tournament. Given the entire tournament will be played at just six venues, Chennai Super Kings will be playing their league games in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. The men in yellow are surely going to miss the home ground advantage that they have been enjoying in Chennai over the years.
BCCI is conducting the second straight season of IPL behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that said, none of us would be able to witness the action at the stadium this year. And, fans will have to rely on television and social media to enjoy the mega event. Stay tuned to AlShorts, where you get short news in 30 seconds, for all the latest updates from around the world as well as IPL 2021.