The most successful IPL franchise is back after a two-year hiatus imposed on it by the courts. They have managed to keep some of the franchise favorites on board like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Ravindra Jadeja. The concern that fans will have is whether they have gone for an aging squad that is beyond its best.
The leadership of MS Dhoni. A lot has been written about Dhoni’s ability bring the best in his players and he will have to do exactly that while dealing with some of the untested youngsters in the squad. CSK is quite strong in the batting department.
Shane Watson is an excellent addition to the team. He has just had a very productive BBL and PSL and is in excellent form coming into the IPL. He will need to bat in the top-3 to be the most productive, though.
Murali Vijay is looking for a second lease on his limited-overs career and the opening position at CSk might be his best bet. Suresh Raina is an IPL legend but looked a little twitchy on his comeback into the ODI team.
The likes of Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayadu, MS Dhoni, and Ravindra Jadeja are all excellent batsmen. They will provide CSK with plenty of depth and versatility. Faf du Plessis has been one of the top overseas performers for the franchise but may find it difficult to find a place in the starting eleven.
Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, and Imran Tahir make for an excellent bowling lineup that should be able to take advantage of the slow Chennai track. Bravo had an excellent time in the BBL this year as he continued to flummox batsmen with his mix of slower deliveries. He is another player that is certain to figure in the top wicket-takers list for the season.
CSK is lacking proven power hitters in their side. MS Dhoni is not the force he once was and Dwayne Bravo is now a bowler who can bat rather than a true all-rounder. The fast bowling lineup is also a little bare.
Shardul Thakur was very expensive for India in the T2 matches he played. He will be asked to lead the pace bowling duties and we think he could struggle in the tournament. Lungi Ngidi or Mark Wood will be the players to find a place in the starting eleven alongside Thakur. Neither of the two is known to be a T20 specialist and could prove to be troublesome for CSK.
The team also does not have too many backup options in case one of its lead players gets injured.