Friday, September 18, 2020

IPL 2020, Team Profile, Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni Hogs Limelight After Pull-Outs


Few teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) generate as much drama and emotion as Chennai Super Kings (CSK). While most of the other franchisees would be celebrating what will be, CSK will toast what was - particularly the sensational international career of their skipper MS Dhoni, as well as Suresh Raina. Emotions galore have been CSK's backdrop for years, ranging from a two-year ban, then coming roaring back in 2018, then losing by the thinnest of margins in the 2019 final, followed by MS Dhoni and Raina retiring from of India duties.

If that was not enough, 13 members of the CSK contingent that travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including two players, test positive for coronavirus. Soon thereafter, senior batsman Suresh Raina pulled out of the tournament, followed a few days later by Harbhajan Singh, leaving the die-hard fans to wallow in emotions ranging from bewilderment to downright depression.

But CSK can never be written off, and with the list boasting some big names, they will still be a fighting force.

Key players:

MS Dhoni

The CSK skipper, as always, finds unique ways to make his presence felt. Staying mostly in the background since he last played for India, Dhoni posted a terse message on social media on August 15 evening, announcing his retirement.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 184;
Runs: 4432;
Highest: 84 not out
Strike rate: 137.85
Catches: 98
Stumpings: 38

Shane Watson

The former Australian superstar always brings class to the top order and calmness to the entire squad, needed more so this year. While Watson may also be nearing the end of his professional cricket career, he is still a key member.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 134;
Runs: 3575;
Highest: 117 not out
Centuries: 4
Strike rate: 139.53
Catches: 34
Wickets: 92
Best: 4/29
Econ: 7.93

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja adds all the dimensions to the CSK squad - batting, bowling and fielding. One of the top all-rounders on the ICC list, Jadeja seems to be in on all the IPL action, as has been seen over the years. He will always be an asset.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 170;
Runs: 1927;
Highest: 48
Strike rate: 122.58
Catches: 63
Wickets: 108
Best: 5/16
4w/inn: 4
5w/inn: 1
Econ: 7.57

Kedar Jadhav

Jadhav is probably the least-hyped player in the CSK A-listers, but his contribution cannot be negated. A canny bat and even cannier bowler. Strangely, Jadhav has yet to bowl a ball in IPL cricket, but that could change on the UAE tracks.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 79;
Runs: 1079;
Highest: 69
Strike rate: 126.49
Catches: 34
Stumpings: 7

Dwayne Bravo

All-rounder, singer, dancer, showman - Dwayne Bravo brings it all to the stage and no wonder he is one of the hot favourites with the CSK fans. Theatrics aside, Bravo has some crucial match-winning knocks for CSK and he still is a big influencer in the side.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 134;
Runs: 1483;
Highest: 70 not out
Strike rate: 128.28
Catches: 74
Wickets: 147
Best: 4/22
4w/inn: 2
Econ: 8.39

Imran Tahir

It is never easy for a leg-spinner in limited-overs cricket, but Tahir seems to thrive on this. Having waved goodbye to international cricket the veteran will focus only on franchise teams now. The UAE tracks may be a challenge but Tahir has enough experience for that.

IPL Record: 
Matches: 55;
Wickets: 79
Best: 4/12
4w/inn: 3
Strike rate: 15.51
Econ: 7.88
Catches: 13

Other members of the squad: Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazelwood, N. Jagadeesan, R. Sai Kishore, Faf du Plessis, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Monu Kumar, Murali Vijay, Ruturaj Gaikwad. Shardul Thakur



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