After a disappointing campaign last year where they finished second to last, the Chennai Super Kings haven’t done anything extravagant as far as their playing squad is concerned.
They released most of the players who didn’t feature regularly last season but did spring some surprises. The biggest talking point was discarding long-term servant and the highest wicket-taker in the IPL, Dwayne Bravo. The West Indies all-rounder had an ordinary season, taking 16 wickets and scoring just 23 runs with the bat.
The Chennai-based franchise lacked a genuine fast bowler last year and has released a host of pacers including Adam Milne, Chris Jordan and KM Asif. With an available purse value of Rs 20.45 crores, CSK will be busy on auction day.
Chennai has retained their core group in MS Dhoni, who will play his last IPL, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Deepak Chahar. One aspect that let them down last season was a gun overseas quick.
Both Adam Milne and Chris Jordan were disappointing and one player that fits the bill perfectly is Sam Curran. The English allrounder has been brilliant for CSK in the past and has had an excellent T20 World Cup. Chennai might also look for an Indian pacer to bolster their pace department.
They might also add some depth to the spin bowling department as a backup to Jadeja and Moeen Ali. Their batting lacked firepower in the middle, particularly against spin. They might look to add seasoned campaigners like Manish Pandey and Karun Nair or they could go for Englishman Harry Brook.
With this year being MS Dhoni’s final season, Chennai should rope in a young, preferably Indian, wicket-keeper batsman who can fill the void left by the former Indian skipper.