'Chepauk no longer fortress for CSK': Ex-India opener bets against MS Dhoni | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Chepauk no longer fortress for Chennai': Ex-CSK star bets against MS Dhoni and Co. before IPL 2024 opener

By, New Delhi
Feb 23, 2024 06:59 AM IST

The former CSK star feels Chepauk is no longer a fortress for MS Dhoni's Chennai in the IPL. CSK will meet RCB in the IPL 2024 opener.

MS Dhoni had the last laugh when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Virat Kohli-starrer Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. The most-capped player in the history of IPL, CSK skipper Dhoni is set to marshall his troops once again for the biggest cricket carnival. Record-time winners CSK will meet Faf du Plessis’ RCB in the IPL 2024 opener at the famous MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on March 22.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni ahead of RCB's IPL match against CSK(IPL/X)
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni ahead of RCB's IPL match against CSK(IPL/X)

On Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unveiled the schedule for the first 15 days of the IPL 2024. As many as 21 games will be held in the first 15 days of the cash-rich league this season. While Hardik Pandya is set to lead Mumbai Indians (MI) for the first time against his former franchise Gujarat Titans (GT), the blockbuster reunion of Dhoni and Kohli will headline the tournament opener of the new season at the Chepauk next month.

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ALSO READ: IPL 2024 schedule announcement highlights: CSK vs RCB in opener on March 22; Hardik Pandya headlines MI's clash with GT

'CSK versus RCB has been a great rivalry'

Former India opener Abhinav Mukund, who spent four years at CSK between 2008 and 2012, acknowledged that RCB have always fancied their chances to upstage Dhoni's CSK in their backyard of the Yellow Brigade. Talking about the mouthwatering clash between RCB and CSK on Jio Cinema, the former CSK star claimed that Chennai's home ground is no longer a fortress for Dhoni's men. “CSK versus RCB has been a great rivalry over the years. RCB have come incredibly close to winning at Chepauk but couldn’t cross the line. A couple of these moments will be etched in fans’ hearts," Mukund said.

'Chepauk no longer a fortress for CSK'

"The good thing for RCB is that the pitches in Chennai have changed. It's no longer a fortress for CSK. They lost to Punjab (Kings) and KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) at home (last year) even though they won the trophy. But looking at the spin-friendly conditions and the spinners they have, CSK looks stronger on paper," the former CSK star added.

Will Rachin Ravindra shine for CSK in IPL 2024?

With INR 1 crore left in their purse, CSK completed their 25-member squad for the IPL 2024 at the auction. Chennai have roped in eight overseas stars for the new season. Dhoni and Co. retained the likes of Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, Matheesha Pathirana, Ajinkya Rahane, and Mitchell Santner ahead of the auction. At the auction, CSK signed World Cup’s breakout star Rachin Ravindra for INR 1.8 crore. Chennai also re-signed Shardul Thakur for INR 4 crore. Daryl Mitchell (Rs. 14 crore), Sameer Rizvi (Rs. 8.40 crore), and Mustafizur Rahman (Rs. 2 crore) will also wear the CSK jersey next season.

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