The biggest sporting event of the calendar year is done for, but the excitement doesn’t seem to end there. Fast forward a couple of weeks and we find ourselves in the midst of perhaps the world’s most loved and watched cricketing event, the Indian premier League. The league has always gotten better by the years and this time too promises to be thoroughly entertaining.
Today, we take a look at a side that has redefined the word consistency. A unit, that has retained its core throughout the IPL’s tenure and a team that has the potential to win the big one once again this year, the Chennai Super Kings.
Strengths – Strong on paper and on field, Chennai will once again be the side to beat this year. Under the leadership of the wily MS Dhoni, CSK have always played positive cricket throughout. They boast of a supreme side covering all three facets of the game and possess match winners at every level. The likes of McCullum, Smith, bravo and Faf will pretty much walk into any T20 side around the world. Adding to that the strong Indian contingent of Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja and Ashwin, CSK indeed have an enviable side. Their new recruit in Irfan Pathan and Michael Hussey give them the experience and the edge heading into the tournament.
Weakness – The boys from Chennai boast of a strong spin/pace combination no doubt. But they lack a fiery pacer capable of turning the game on its heels. A Dale Steyn or a Trent Boult type of bowler would have done wonders for the super kings had they picked them up in the auctions. Hence the ‘over dependence’ on spin might just continue to plague them. Besides this, they get too complacent at times and lose out on key encounters affecting their championship probabilities.
X Factor – In a league filled with loyalty issues, it is perplexing to see how the Chennai Super Kings still cling to some of their big stars. The likes of Dhoni, Raina, Hussey, Ashwin etc are with Chennai ever since inception excepting brief spells elsewhere. Their ability to retain the core has fuelled Chennai’s bid for the trophy and hence they indeed have an enviable record to display.
Verdict – A top 2 finish is a must for Chennai and they will in all probability ease to this feat. They have a solid batting unit and hence we need to watch out for some high scoring encounters if the Super Kings are around.
MS Dhoni, Baba Aparajith, Ashish Nehra, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Mohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Samuel Badree, Michael Hussey, Ronit More, Kyle Abbott, Rahul Sharma, Pratyush Singh, Irfan Pathan, Eklavya Dwivedi, Ankush Bains, Andrew Tye.