3 Players CSK can buy: Chennai Super Kings would be looking to plug gaps in just their remaining six slots in IPL 2021 auction.
A primary reason why Indian Premier League 2021 auction will be of utmost importance for Chennai Super Kings is because they finished the last season at the seventh position on the points table. For a team which has seldom tasted failure, a worst-ever performance of losing eight matches in the league stage has it in it to create doubts.
With their captain entering his first-ever auction as a retired player and a key player having announced retirement, Super Kings would be searching for X-factor players who could also be retained ahead of the mega auction next year.
Having retained 19 players, Chennai only have six slots to fill tomorrow which includes a solitary position for an overseas player. A limited budget of INR 19.9 crore further restricts them from going all out in the auction which makes proceedings all the more interesting for their bountiful fans.
3 Players CSK can buy in IPL auction 2021
Given the dynamics of a mini-IPL auction, being bullish on only three players isn’t a very wise decision for franchises with more money can easily prevent one from buying “particular” players. Hence, we have shortlisted three key areas which Super Kings need to address and a few names whose presence will aid them in plugging gaps.
Shortlisted names – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jalaj Saxena, Krishnappa Gowtham, Parvez Rasool, Noor Ahmad.
Out of the six players that CSK released last month, two of them were established spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla. The latter’s absence won’t hurt Chennai a lot for they have enough spin-bowling options who turn the ball away from a right-hand batsman.
Having said that, Super Kings have no spinner who bowls into a right-handed batsman or turns away from a left-handed batsman. CSK, who struggled a lot in the bowling department in Harbhajan’s absence last season, are most likely to spend a hefty amount, if need be, to buy an off-spinner (or a chinaman spinner).
Considering a lone overseas slot, it will be interesting to see if CSK will bid for an overseas spinner. If they chose to do the same, they might be looking at the Afghanistan-pair of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad.
While Mujeeb in a known entity in T20 leagues across the world now, 16-year old chinaman spinner Ahmad had recently represented Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. Ahmad might not have had many wickets to boast about his stint but he is a prospect that should interest Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
As mentioned in a similar article before IPL 2020 auction, Chennai still have an option of buying veteran Kerala all-rounder Jalaj Saxena. A tried and tested name in the Indian domestic circuit, Saxena is yet to make his IPL debut despite getting bought by Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals in the past.
Much like Saxena, other known Indian spinners who can also bat well include the likes of Krishnappa Gowtham and Parvez Rasool. Considering a comparative dearth of off-spinners in this auction, expect all these names to entice buyers in Chennai.
Shortlisted names – Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Alex Carey.
There is no hiding to the fact that any franchise will have to ponder hard with respect to zeroing in on one or two overseas batsmen. Given the excessive number of options available, shortlisting a couple of names is no mean task.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) February 17, 2021
Dhoni, who has mostly preferred experience over youth since Chennai’s readmission into the tournament, might well be inclined towards Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch. Although the 34-year old batsman is coming on the back of a lean patch in IPL 13 and BBL 10, the same doesn’t take away his experience and potential.
Among other such options, CSK could also enter the bidding war for the English pair of Dawid Malan and Alex Hales. Although at different levels, both the batsmen have been in supreme form in the format and can be an able replacement for Shane Watson.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali could solve Chennai’s dual problems of having an off-spinner and an overseas batsman. Considering the 33-year old player’s flexibility in the batting order, he is another of those players who can thrive under Dhoni. Much like Ali, Australia wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey can also bat anywhere in the lineup and can also be utilized as a backup keeper for Dhoni.
Shortlisted names – Shahrukh Khan, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sheldon Jackson.
While Ruturaj Gaikwad and Narayan Jagadeesan are highly likely to get opportunities in IPL 2021, Chennai would still be wanting to have reserve Indian batsmen in their squad. With Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu past their prime now, having reserves for form and fitness-related concerns is a must for them.
Honestly speaking, Super Kings don’t have to look elsewhere to fulfill this void for Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan is expected to receive a maiden bid this season. A hard-hitting batsman in the middle-order, the presence of a young local boy will be exactly what their fans would be hoping for.