The auction for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to take place tomorrow on 18th February. Since it’s a mini-auction, it will be a one-day event and will be a five to six-hour affair. The BCCI is yet to officially announce the start date of IPL 2021. But the tournament won’t start before the second week of April as the India-England fixtures end on 28 March. As the IPL auction is scheduled for tomorrow, let’s just get into the assessment of the fan’s most loved team – The Chennai Super kings.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Retained Players: Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Narayan Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Josh Hazlewood, Robin Uthappa, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Released Players: Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Monu Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson
CSK are having a purse of 19.2 crores and would be eyeing for players who would be for a longer run of period given the serious backlash recieved during IPL 2020. Getting into the combination, they have the already set Ruturaj and Faf in the opening combo, with the likes of Raina, Dhoni, Rayudu, Curran, Jadeja, Bravo following them and ending with Chahar, Thakur, Santner/Tahir/Karn, Kishore/Asif/Hazlewood/Ngidi.
While this looks set, CSK have traded Uthappa on a cash deal of 3 crores who fits the bill of a powerplay player leading to a juggle between the opening combo of Ruturaj-Faf or Ruturaj – Robbie.
Now if Robin is given a chance to open with Ruturaj, then Faf has to be moved to No.4 beyond which they can’t accomodate him. We have already seen Bravo depleting in his performances for the last few years in all the leagues including the CPL and CSK had now given him a rope in the upcoming IPL, which is adding burden to the team leading to just 1 slot in Foreigners. Since he is injury prone too, CSK should now look out for a complete all rounder who would be a perfect like to like fitting the bill of Bravo, can be either Indian or foreigner. Now that CSK struggles in the middle, they need a versatile all rounder or a player who can fit the bill playing at any spot upto 7.
Sam Billings, Glen Philips both can be a backup option of a keeper after Dhoni, Maxwell (all rounder) would be the best buys for CSK. Any one among these three would be a perfect one and since the South Africa series is starting in April vs Pakistan, certain key players would miss the IPL for first 2 weeks. Any of the options listed above would be a great option to open too along with Robin – Ruturaj.
Coming to the Indian picks, Shahrukh Kham from Tamil Nadu was among the stalwarts in the recently concluded SMAT and he if pocked by CSK will bolster the lineup with his power hitting and can also play the role of finisher too for the team. Other options include Avi Barot, L Meriwala (Baroda),Hari Nishanth ( left hander) and many from the domestic circuit. Yes, CSK would probably look at getting an Indian pacer who could be a back-up option for Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar. Ankit Rajpoot, Umesh Yadav, and Varun Aaron who have been released could be looked at as probable options.
CSK management has been doing a baffling work for the past few auctions and many have come under the radar of the fans and their disappointment too. Let’s hope this upcoming auction will make the Lions roar back ferociously.
By Paramdeep Rathee