IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings - Team profile and full squad
- CSK decided to spend big on K Gowtham and Moeen Ali at the IPL 2021 auctions while also securing the services of Robin Uthappa. It will be interesting to see how CSK manage their resources while trying to secure their fourth title
Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most consistent sides in the history of Indian Premier League. The three-time champions qualified for the playoffs in every single edition they played in before 2020. However, last season was a disaster for them as they finished seventh in the points table and looked like a side that needed some revamp.
MS Dhoni also looked a little rusty last season as he managed just 200 runs in 14 matches. But he has been tasked with overseeing this tough period for CSK. They haven’t gone for a massive overhaul of the squad but have instead kept faith in their resources.
CSK decided to spend big on K Gowtham and Moeen Ali at the IPL 2021 auctions while also securing the services of Robin Uthappa. It will be interesting to see how CSK manage their resources while trying to secure their fourth title.
Here is the full squad of Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2021: MS Dhoni (Captain), Suresh Raina, Narayan Jagadeesabn, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M.Harisankar Reddy, K.Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth, R Sai Kishore
Great Home Record:
CSK at the Chepauk are an indomitable force. Even though matches will be played without an audience, MS Dhoni is a master of rallying his troops and knows every corner of the field. They will bank on their great home record again this season.
The strength of CSK lies in their young blood. Sam Curran, who played his inaugural season for CSL last year, is expected to be their MVP, especially given the kind of form he is coming off. He can give Dwayne Bravo a run for his money in the line-up. Then there is Ruturaj Gaekwad, who turned out for CSK in just six matches last year, but promises to be in line for a lot more in the coming 14 games. The likes of Shardul Thakur and Mitchell Santner are coming off good match practices. Ravindra Jadeja will return from his injury with a point to prove. And who can forget Cheteshwar Pujara, with an altered stance, hitting them mighty sixes in the nets? A sing of things to come maybe?
Age factor and lack of match practice
That CSK still possess a plethora of players who have not had match practice is a worry for the three-time champions. Remember, Suresh Raina has just played a handful of T20 matches in the lead-up to the tournament and Ambati Rayudu didn't make much noise in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy either. There's no doubting Bravo's utility as a player, but at the age of 37 and with a history of injuries, it remains to be seen that how much value he can add. New recruit Robin Uthappa has expressed his desire to score 1000 runs this year, but his last two seasons have yielded 282 and 196 runs respectively. Dhoni himself hasn't played any cricket since November last year. For a lot of these players, this could be their last shot at redemption and CSK need to be careful not to stack all these veterans at once.
CSK have the opportunity of a lifetime here to show why they are the most consistent side in the history of IPL. Remember 2018… when CSK returned after a two-year ban to win the trophy that year, and followed it with a runner-up finish the year later? That's what this side is capable of. Last year, CSK were simply not able to take off and by the time they realised who the right players were, the ship had already sailed. Above anything else, IPL 2021 is an opportunity for Dhoni to reclaim the moniker of one of the best batsmen. Let's face it, last season Dhoni endured a personal low, scoring just 200 runs without a single fifty. As it is for Raina. Can the dynamic CSK duo deliver one final hit?
One of CSK's biggest strengths, their ability to finish off close matches, was on the wane last season. For years, CSK have comprised of power-packed batsmen, or bowlers who would, more often than not, get the team over the line. But last year, the same proven performers could not take what the youngsters from other teams had to offer. An ageing CSK have struck a bit of a revamp and need to find the right balance before it's too late.