CSK is IPL’s favourite child and when you have your favourite child’s homecoming, a huge celebration is in the offing.
The Chennai franchise has caught the imagination of the world, pulling in crowds of 10,000+ for practice games and helping create a city connect, something that not many franchises have been able to do in 10 years.
MS Dhoni is back to where he belongs, probably to write the last chapter of his famed legacy in yellow.
Here we analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the CSK squad and how they would fare in IPL 2018
CSK have a well-balanced spin department. With a lot of experienced spinners in the mix, CSK look a very formidable bowling side, especially considering the spin-friendly nature of the tracks back home.
CSK have the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell Santner in their ranks along with Karn Sharma.
Another strength of this CSK squad is the amount of experience that they can bank upon in close matches.With the likes of MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir and Suresh Raina in the side, CSK are the most experienced side on paper.
Having retained their core of the batting line up from 2 years back in the form of Du Plessis, Dhoni, Raina, Murali Vijay, age might be an issue as all of them are in their 30s and might get unstuck when chasing big totals.
CSK squad lack of depth in the pace department is a cause for concern. With no experienced specialist pace bowler in the side, CSK look a tad weaker at the death. With a weak pace department, the onus will be on the spin department and the inexperienced Shardul Thakur to provide the much-required foundation for a favourable result.
The tall and burly fast bowler from South Africa Lungisane Ngidi who burst onto the scene in the India-SA series should be their X-Factor. He hits the deck hard and has good variations up his sleeve and provide MSD a different ploy in matches.
Another player proving himself in India’s Domestic circuit is Deepak Chahar which gives him the opportunity to establish himself as a new ball bowler for the Chennai-based team.
Chahar has so far featured in 25 T20 matches and has taken 29 wickets at an astonishing average of 22.34 and a decent economy of 7.46. In addition to that, he was the star-bowler for Rajasthan in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he registered his best bowling figures of 5/15 against Karnataka.
Captain cool is back to what is his second home, having retired from International Test Duty ,MSD has been focussing on the shorter formats of the game and helping Virat Kohli marshalling the Indian Troops.Expect a similar captaincy style from MSD as seen in the previous seasons of the IPL but his batting may surprise a few.